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Bad weather hampers Libya crash search

Bad weather is hampering the search for survivors after a Swiss-owned Shorts 360-300 aircraft crashed off the coast of Libya on Thursday, killing at least seventeen people.

This content was published on January 14, 2000 - 14:59

Bad weather is hampering the search for survivors after a Swiss-owned Shorts 360-300 aircraft crashed off the coast of Libya on Thursday, killing at least seventeen people.

Nineteen survivors have been plucked from the sea, and the search is continuing for three Libyans, one Briton and one Filipino, who are still missing.

Salvage workers are preparing to recover the wreckage of the two-engine plane, which belongs to the Zurich-based firm Avisto, from about 50 metres of water.
The plane crashed into the sea as it approached Libya's main oil town of Marsa al-Brega.

"According to our information, the plane made an emergency sea landing for unknown reasons shortly before landing in Marsa al-Brega," Avisto said in a statement.

The company said that the Libyan pilot was highly experienced and had received training in Switzterland. The other people on board were from Britain, Canada, Croatia, India, Libya, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tunisia. The plane had been leased to Libya's Sirte Oil Company to transport oil workers.

An expert from the Swiss air accident investigation bureau is waiting for clearance from Tripoli before going to the accident scene. Switzerland and Libya are discussing which country will head the investigation.

The accident comes three days after a plane belonging to the Swiss regional airline, Crossair, crashed shortly after taking off from Zurich airport, killing ten people.

From staff and wire reports

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