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Asia-pacific

Tourist plane crashes killing 13

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-12

A small tourist plane has crashed into the rugged mountains of Papua New Guinea killing all 13 people on board, including 11 Australians, one Japanese and two local crew members.

AFP- Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd Wednesday said there were no survivors after a plane carrying 13 people, including nine Australians, crashed in mountains in Papua New Guinea.

Rudd said the Australian High Commission had been given the news by rescue officials who reached the wreckage on Wednesday, a day after the plane went down in rugged terrain en route to the popular tourist town of Kokoda.

"There were no survivors from the crash," Rudd told parliament. "This is distressing news for the families of those concerned."

"There is a horrible tragedy involved when families send off their loved ones for what they expect to be the experience of a lifetime only for it to turn into a tragedy such as this," he added.

Two of the dead were a father and daughter from the same family, Rudd said. Three Papua New Guineans and a Japanese were also on board.

Australia had sent a navy ship, three helicopters and two planes to help in the search after the 20-seat aircraft disappeared on Tuesday.

Kokoda is a popular destination for Australians as it hosts a hiking trail through the site of a bloody World War II battle between Australian and Japanese troops.

Date created : 2009-08-12