A Peruvian airliner carrying 100 people crashed near a jungle town while attempting an emergency landing in a wind storm, killing at least 37 people and injuring 57 others, officials said.
Pravda.ru reported earlier that at least two people were dead and about 20 others injured with burns and broken bones.
The Boeing 737 went down Tuesday near the Pucallpa municipal airport after the pilot radioed that he could not land because of strong winds and a torrential downpour, Norma Pasquel, a Pucallpa airport receptionist, told The Associated Press by phone.
The plane circled the airport until attempting the emergency landing. Officials and radio reports said the plane crashed near a highway, indicating the pilot was trying to land on the roadway.
"There are 40 cadavers that rescue teams are pulling from the wreckage. There could be more deaths, we assume some 60 people in total since we've rescued 20 injured persons," a police officer in Pucallpa told RPP radio.
Foreign tourists were on the flight, police Lt. David Mori told Reuters. "There are possibly Italians and Colombians are among the dead or injured," he said.
"The plane made an emergency landing but without its landing gear," said firefighter Ilda Pineda. "The weather was really terrible, there was a fierce storm at the time," a police officer in Pucallpa said.
TANS, founded in the 1960s by the Peruvian air force to help serve remote jungle communities, started as a commercial airline in 1998. It has around 30 percent of the local market, focussing on routes often neglected by its competitors, Reuters reminds.
See photo report on Peruvian crash.
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