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Plane crashes near Zurich

Wreckage visible in the woods in Basserdorf, near Zurich airport  

ZURICH, Switzerland (CNN) -- A Swiss airliner has crashed killing at least 10 people in bad weather on approach to Zurich International Airport.

Crossair Flight 3597, carrying 28 passengers and five crew members, went down around 10 p.m. (4 p.m. EST) on Saturday in a wooded area in Basserdorf, about three miles from the airport.

Nine people were injured in the crash but it is not yet known how many of the missing 14 passengers are alive or dead.

A fireball engulfed its midsection but the cockpit and tail areas were left largely unscathed, local police and airport officials said.

Zurich police chief Peter Grueter told a news conference: "We have seen additional bodies but have not yet recovered them."

Rescue workers with sniffer dogs worked through the bitterly cold night searching for the missing people after issuing an urgent appeal for local people to join the hunt.

The nine confirmed survivors walked out to rescue workers, said Zurich airport's chief medical officer Remo Reichlin. Three had serious burns while the other six were less severely injured.

There was no indication whether the pilot and crew -- all Swiss nationals -- were among the survivors. Officials did not disclose the nationalities of the victims.

Rescue workers have recovered the black box flight recorders from the plane -- an Avro RJ-100 Jumbolino belonging to Swissair subsidiary Crossair - but the cause of the crash is not yet known.

The crash happened in fog and snow as the plane was approaching runway 28, a new night landing strip brought into operation four weeks ago following agreement by the Swiss transport ministry to limit overflight noise above nearby Germany.

Crossair, a subsidiary of the ailing Swissair Group, flies routes between Swiss cities and to other destinations in Europe.

It is taking over sections of Swissair operations as part of a complex government-financed bailout that is meant to be completed next spring.

Swissair had its planes grounded last month because the company could no longer meet fuel and landing fees.

Although the government and industry has since stepped in, the airline has filed for bankruptcy protection and is struggling to recover customer


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