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Private jet crashes in Mexico, 13 feared dead

Air-traffic controllers said they lost contact with the Bombardier Challenger 601 jet Sunday evening, after it abruptly lost altitude over the state of Coahuila, in northern Mexico.

Handout picture released by Mexico's Civil Protection showing the wreckage of a private jet found on 6 May 2019 in Ocampo, Coahuila State, in northern Mexico, a day after it disappeared while flying from Las Vegas in the US to Monterrey in Mexico. Picture: AFP

NEW MEXICO – The wreckage of a private jet that disappeared while flying from Las Vegas to Monterrey, in northern Mexico, was found Monday, with no sign that any of the 13 people on board survived, officials said.

Air-traffic controllers said they lost contact with the Bombardier Challenger 601 jet Sunday evening, after it abruptly lost altitude over the state of Coahuila, in northern Mexico.

"On an overflight of the area, (officials) sighted the remains of the aircraft in a mountainous, difficult-to-access area in the municipality of Ocampo, Coahuila," the state public security ministry said in a statement.

"No survivors were observed."

Images of the wreckage on Mexican TV showed the badly charred and shattered remains of the fuselage, with only the wings and tail left intact.

A state aviation official had initially said there were 11 passengers on board the plane, but the ministry corrected the figure to 10, plus three crew: the pilot, the copilot and a flight attendant.

According to Mexican media reports, authorities believe the charter jet was flying a group of passengers back from Saturday night's middleweight title fight in Las Vegas, in which Mexican boxer Saul "Canelo" Alvarez defeated Daniel Jacobs of the United States.

Its destination was the wealthy industrial city of Monterrey, in Nuevo Leon state, which borders Coahuila.

It is a three-hour flight from Las Vegas, in the US state of Nevada, to Monterrey.

Authorities said bad weather could have played a part in the crash.

"There has been a lot of atmospheric activity and instability recently. Over the past four days, we've had rain storms, hail and winds with gusts of more than 60 kilometers per hour," Francisco Martinez, Coahuila's deputy public safety minister, told TV network Milenio.

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