Sep 13, 2010 12:52 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

23 survive airline crash in Venezuela

A commercial plane carrying at least 47 people crashed shortly after takeoff Monday in eastern Venezuela, and an official said at least 23 people survived.

The ATR-42 turboprop from the government-run airline Conviasa crashed near Puerto Ordaz and about 6 miles after take-off from Ciudad Guayana, Transportation Minister Francisco Garces told reporters.

The plane went down on the property of the government-run Sidor steel foundry.

Rescue workers were tending to injured victims, and at least 23 survivors were taken to hospitals, Bolivar state Gov. Francisco Rangel Gomez told the Venezuela-based television network Telesur.

Forty-three passengers and four crew members were aboard when the plane took off, Garces said.

Garces said the plane was headed to Margarita Island when it crashed shortly after takeoff, for reasons that were unclear.

ATR, which makes 40-70 seat twin-engined turboprops, is a joint venture between Airbus parent company EADSand Italian aerospace group Finmeccanica.

In the last major crash in Venezuela in 2008, a plane belonging to private local airline Santa Barbara with 46 passengers on board crashed into mountains, with no survivors.



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