SAO PAULO, July 17 (UPI) -- About 200 people were believed dead following a fiery passenger jet crash at Sao Paulo's Congonhas airport, authorities in Brazil said Tuesday night.
More than 170 were on board TAM Flight 3054 bound from Porto Alegre in southern Brazil when it skid off the runway as it attempted to land in heavy rain and win and smashed into a nearby gas station.
Sao Paulo state Gov. Jose Serra said firefighters told him there was "almost zero chance that anyone in the plane survived," O Globo reported online. Other people on the ground reportedly were killed when the plane collided with the gas station and burst into flames.
The TAM airlines plane was an Airbus 320, one of the larger planes in commercial flight. Such large planes were banned from landing at Congonhas until earlier this year.
Tuesday's crash was the worst ever in Brazilian aviation history.
A September 2006 crash of a Brazilian commercial airliner and a small private jet shortly after takeoff killed all 154 people on the commercial flight, Gol Flight 1907. Brazilian federal police blamed two U.S. pilots flying a private plane for the midair collision.