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Most unhurt, 7 seriously injured in plane crash

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- More than 100 people escaped injury Friday when the engines of a Warsaw-bound commercial airliner of the Scandinavian Airlines System failed, causing the plane to crash near a farmhouse minutes after takeoff, rescue officials said.

'It's a miracle. I was very lucky,' said passenger Goran Orjats from the scene of the crash.

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'The engines stopped working and they said there was danger and to keep calm. The plane went down slowly first, then it went down very quickly, first hit the trees and then stopped on the field,' he added, saying some passengers left the area quickly, others remained in the area.

The SAS aircraft, a nine-month-old, U.S.-built McDonnel Douglas DC-9 MD-80 with route number SK751, took off from Stockholm's Arlanda Airport at 8:40 a.m. with 122 passengers and seven crew members on board and was to have landed in Copenhagen at 9:40 a.m. before continuing to the Polish capital.

SAS spokesman Bertil Lundqvist said there were 'no fatalities' in what appeared to have been a miraculous escape for the passengers and crew of the twin-engine airliner.

On impact, the two wings of the aircraft broke off but the airliner did not catch fire, despite having been fully loaded with fuel for the trip to Poland.

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Police said that seven people had been recovered 'in a serious condition' and that 'more than a hundred have been rescued unharmed.' Nine passengers had received lesser injuries.

Radio Uppland, the local radio station reported, 'The majority of passengers were miraculously seen parading in one long caravan towards the nearest house.'

Police, rescue and airport officials said the first sign of trouble came a couple of minutes after takeoff when the captain of the airliner reported that he had engine trouble and that he would attempt to restart his engines.

'So far, from what we know, the pilot just before the crash called up and said he had de-ice problems and he was trying to restart the engines. And then he went down ...' said police spokesman Keld Edman in a broadcast interview.

Swedish television said in a report that the attempt to restart the engines failed, the captain reported 'I am going to crash land' and the aircraft came down 12 miles from Arlanda Airport.

'You might call it a real rough landing because it was broken into three parts,' Edman said.

Apart from the wings having broken off, the plane fuselage broke into three pieces on the snow and ice-covered field.

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The nationalities of all those on board were not immediately available.

A special SAS Crash Team was making its way to the site Friday to try to determine the cause of the engine failure.

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