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Plane crashes near Peru geoglyphs

The Nazca Lines were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994.
The Nazca Lines were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994.
  • Seven killed in crash
  • Plane was taking tourists on flight over Nazca glyphs, which are best viewed from air
  • Three Peruvians, three Chileans among dead
  • Nazca
  • Peru
  • Tourism

(CNN) -- Seven people, mostly tourists, were killed Thursday when a small plane crashed in southern Peru near the famous Nazca Lines, the official Andina news agency reported, citing Nazca police.

The morning accident happened during a flyover of the mysterious geoglyphs in the sand that are one of Peru's largest tourist attractions.

Three Chilean tourists, three Peruvian tourists, including a child, and the pilot were killed, Andina reported.

The plane belonged to Nazca Airlines, which had not made a statement as of Thursday afternoon.

There are more than 1,500 geoglyphs extending over 190 square miles, according to the National Geographic Society. They were constructed by the Nazca culture about 2,000 years ago.

Though they're virtually indecipherable from the ground, from the air they are clearly visible as a monkey, a killer whale, a hummingbird, a condor, a pelican among flowers, trees and geometric shapes.

The Nazca Lines are believed to have had ritual astronomical functions, according to UNESCO, which designated them a World Heritage site in 1994.