Brazil plane crash kills 16: rescue officials

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 13, 2011 (AFP) - A small plane crashed early Wednesday near the Brazilian city of Recife, killing its 16 occupants, rescue officials told AFP.

The plane, which was bound for Natal, the capital and main city of Rio Grande do Norte in northeastern Brazil, crashed within 10 minutes of taking off, authorities said.

The Air Force says in a statement that the twin-engine aircraft belonging to a regional airline took off from the city of Recife Wednesday morning and immediately reported problems.

The statement does not say what the problems were or what caused the crash.

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