LA PAZ (Reuters) – A Bolivian military plane crashed on Saturday, killing two crew members and four Spanish citizens who were being transferred before a planned repatriation amid the coronavirus outbreak, the country’s Air Force said.
The crash occurred near the southeastern city of Trinidad, from where the passengers were being taken to the larger transport hub of Santa Cruz, the statement said. Bolivia has closed its borders to slow the spread of the pandemic.
Bolivian authorities have set up a panel to investigate the crash and file a report on the incident within eight days, the air force said. It added the light aircraft, a Beechcraft Baron B-55, had crashed early in the afternoon.
Preliminary findings showed that the plane reported that it planned to return to the airport in Trinidad 12 minutes after take-off due to engine failure. Contact with the aircraft was then lost.
Reporting by Daniel Ramos; Writing by Nicolas Misculin and Adam Jourdan; Editing by Cynthia Osterman