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At least 19 dead in Polish air crash

Jan. 24, 2008 at 12:51 AM

MIROSLAWIEC, Poland, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- A low-flying Polish military transport plane crashed into a forest and burst into flames Wednesday night, killing at least 19 people on board, it was reported.

It was believed there were no survivors when the Casa C-295M twin turboprop plane went down about 1.2 miles from an air base in Miroslawiec in northwestern Poland, the BBC reported. It appeared the plane was flying at an altitude of about 650 feet when it suddenly fell from the sky, the British network reported.

The victims included officials returning from an air safety conference. The aircraft had taken off from Warsaw.

"Soldiers, husbands, and fathers have died, and that is the most tragic result of this catastrophe," said Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who went to the scene.

Weather was not believed to have been a factor in the crash, which reportedly was the worst accident experienced by the Polish air force in 35 years.

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