CARACAS, Venezuela, AP -A commercial airliner with 152 passengers aboard crashed in remote western Venezuela early Tuesday, an aviation official said. It wasn”t immediately clear if anyone survived.
The West Caribbean Airways plane was en route from Panama to the Caribbean island of Martinique when its pilot reported engine trouble to the Caracas airport before dawn, said Francisco Paz, president of the National Aviation Institute.
Airport authorities lost radio contact with the plane roughly 10 minutes later, when the plane was in the area of Machiques in the western state of Zulia, he said.
"Residents in the area said they heard an explosion," Paz said. "Air rescue teams are traveling to the area right now by air and by land."
He said the pilot reported trouble with both engines to the Caracas air control tower just after 3 a.m.
The plane had been chartered for tourists, and 152 passengers were listed on the flight plan, Paz said. It wasn”t immediately clear how many crew members accompanied them.