An air force plane carrying sergeants and their families to a party crashed into a mountain during a rainstorm. Rescuers said Thursday all 53 people aboard were killed.
The Fokker F-27 twin-engine plane crashed Wednesday night, diving into a deep ravine in the Cordoba Mountains 500 miles northwest of Buenos Aires.
Rescuers on foot and mules reached the rocky crash site on Mount Champaqui at dawn and said there were no survivors among the 48 passengers and five crew members.
Bodies and wreckage were scattered over 500 yards, said police Inspector Jose Carreras in the small town of Villa Dolores, 12 miles away.
The plane was traveling from a base in the southern oil town of Comodoro Rivadavia.
Air force spokesmen said the passengers were mostly sergeants, their wives and children going to a celebration at a military academy in Cordoba.
Brig. Gen. Juan Paulik, air force chief of staff, said weather conditions were “very poor,” but the cause of the crash is under investigation.
Residents of the sparsely populated ranching area told rescuers they heard a low-flying plane followed by an explosion, then saw flames on the mountainside.
The crash was the second military tragedy in Cordoba province in less than a week. An army-operated munitions plant blew up in the town of Rio Tercero last Friday, killing 13 people and injuring more than 300.