Seven dead as tourist plane crashes near Peru’s Nazca lines

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LIMA – Five tourists and two crew members were killed after their plane crashed on their way to see Peru’s famous Nazca lines on Friday (Feb 4), according to the transport ministry.

The Aerosantos tourism company’s Cessna 207 single-engine plane crashed immediately after takeoff from Nazca’s little airfield of Maria Reiche around noon, according to a statement.

Among the seven people on board, there were no survivors. According to the Nazca civil defense service, the tourists included two Chileans and three Dutch citizens.

Dozens of planes take off from the Maria Reiche airfield, transporting passengers, mostly foreigners, over the Nazca lines, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

According to UNESCO, the famous lines, which are one of Peru’s top tourist attractions, were carved into the desert floor around 220 miles (350 kilometers) south of Lima between 500 BC and 500 AD and show animals, plants, imagined beings, and geometric figures several kilometers long.

They are thought to have performed ritual astronomical functions or served as a calendar. The majority are only visible from the sky.

According to radio station RPP, the Cessna crashed as it began its aerial tour of the property, landing on the side of a road.

According to Canal N, which aired video of the burning ruins of the plane, the plane exploded on contact and burst into flames, leaving the dead burnt beyond recognition.

According to the transport ministry, the reason of the collision will be probed.

Four British tourists and two Peruvian crew members were murdered when an AirNasca plane flew over the boundaries in October 2010.

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