9 believed dead in New Zealand plane crash

September 4, 2010 06:42

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Nine people are believed to have died when a light aircraft belonging to a skydiving company crashed on New Zealand's South Island on Saturday.

A spokesman for local ambulance services, Ian Henderson, says nine people were thought to be aboard the plane that burst into flames after takeoff Saturday from an airstrip at Fox Glacier.Henderson says he does not know the ages, gender or nationalities of the dead.

Police say the aircraft was a Fletcher fixed-wing plane of a type designed and built in New Zealand.

Fox Glacier is on the West Coast of the South Island, about 90 miles (150 kilometers) from the main city Christchurch.

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