Cargo plane crashes on approach to airport

Saturday, February 1, 2003

BAUCAU, East Timor -- A cargo plane crashed while landing in fog near an airport on East Timor's north coast, killing all six people aboard, a U.N. official said Friday.

The Russian-made IL-76 was carrying equipment for a Portuguese telephone company in East Timor, U.N. spokesman Wilton Fonseca said in the capital, Dili.

It crashed about three miles short of the airport in Baucau at about 3:30 p.m., Fonseca said.

"There was a lot of fog," Fonseca said. "There was bad weather."

Fonseca said the United Nations sent a rescue plane to the area 60 miles east of Dili. Five bodies had been recovered.

"We don't know of any survivors," U.N. Police Chief Peter Miller said.

Witnesses said the plane circled twice before crashing into an abandoned house and bursting into flames.

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