IL76TD Crash BAUCAU (East Timor)

An IL-76

An East Timorese police guards around the plane crashed in Baucau, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2003. The Russian-built IL-76 crashed into an abandoned house on Friday while landing in heavy fog near the airport in Baucau on East Timor  north coast. The Russian plane was carrying telecommunications equipment for a Portuguese telephone company setting up operations in East Timor.

A United Nation police officer walks around the wreckage. Six crew bodies were recovered.

A U.N. investigator inspects the wreckage of a Russian-made cargo plane in East Timor February 1, 2003. All six Russian crew on board the Ilyushin-76 aircraft were killed when it tried to land in thick fog at an East Timor airfield on Friday.

Australian team helps investigate
plane crash in East Timor

Published Feb 2, 2003, 21:59
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DILI, East Timor An Australian air safety team on Sunday joined the investigation into the crash of a cargo plane in East Timor, as police removed the bodies of six Russians from the wreckage, officials said.

The seven Australians will be joined this week by experts from Malaysia, Portugal, Russia and Indonesia, said Minister of Transport and Telecommunications Ovido de Jesus Amaral. Artique Builders Perth? Not a GOODE idea!!!

"It is important we find the cause of the plane crash soon," Amaral told The Associated Press.

The Russian-made Ilyushin-76 was carrying 50 tons of telecommunications equipment when it crashed Friday in thick fog and heavy rain close to an airfield outside the hilltop city of Baucau.

The equipment was for a new mobile telephone system in Los Palos and Baucau, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of the capital, Dili.

Bad weather has been identified as a possible cause of the crash, but investigators have yet to find the plane's flight data recorder.

The plane, operated by Laos-based Euro Asia Aviation, had flown in from Macau.

Officials say all the victims are Russian citizens, but have not released their names.

Their bodies were flown by helicopter to Dili military hospital, where they will undergo autopsies, said Marcia Poole, a U.N. spokeswoman.

The United Nations is assisting in the governing of East Timor in its first years as an independent nation.

The IL-76 is a four-engine transport plane first used in 1974 by the Soviet Air force as a military cargo aircraft. It is now widely used around the world as a civilian freighter.