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10 killed in Guatemalan plane crash

  • Story Highlights
  • Cessna Caravan 208 was en route from Aurora to El Estor
  • Pilot started making distress calls about 45 minutes after takeoff
  • Plane crashed in Zacapa, about 115 kilometers (71 miles) east of Guatemala City
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(CNN) -- A plane crash in eastern Guatemala on Sunday killed 10 people, including eight Americans, a Guatemalan official told CNN.

A Cessna Caravan 208 carrying 14 people was en route from Aurora to El Estor when the pilot started making distress calls about engine failure about 45 minutes after takeoff, said Jose Carlos, Guatemala's director of civil aeronautics.

The air traffic tower in Guatemala City lost communication with the plane at 9:45 a.m.

The plane crashed in Zacapa, an agricultural hub about 115 kilometers (71 miles) east of Guatemala City, killing the pilot Monica Bonilla, co-pilot Luis Fernando LanFiesta and the Americans.

Four other passengers were injured and taken to a local hospital.

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"It seems like the pilot tried her best to make a safe landing in a open field, but was not successful," said Ricardo Lemus, a Zacapa firefighter at the scene of the crash told reporters.

"On impact, the aircraft was split into pieces."

The charter flight was operated by Aero Ruta Maya.

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