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Singer dies in Swiss plane crash

It is believed 34 people died in the crash
It is believed 34 people died in the crash  

ZURICH, Switzerland -- A U.S. singer picked to be the voice of a Coca-Cola advert has died in the Swiss air crash.

Melanie Thornton was on tour promoting her new album.

Also among those who were missing, feared dead, in the Crossair flight from Berlin to Switzerland on Saturday were two prominent Israeli scientists and an Israeli official.

The plane crashed in bad weather as it was approaching Zurich International Airport.

Nine people survived but 10 have been confirmed dead and it is feared the final death toll will be 24 as 14 passengers and crew have not been found.

"It is true that Miss Thornton was on the passenger list. She is not among the survivors," Zurich police spokesman Karl Steiner told Reuters news agency.

Thornton's latest single "Wonderful Dream" is the song of a new Coca-Cola commercial and was due to be in stores from Monday.

Thornton, born in May 1967 in South Carolina, was for many years the voice of La Bouche with whom she had world-wide sales successes with songs such as "Sweet Dreams," "Fallin' In Love" or "Be My Lover."

With her singing partner Lane McCray, she celebrated world-wide successes with La Bouche and obtained gold and platinum awards in more than 15 countries.

But their second album flopped and Thornton left the group in February 2000 for an independent career.

Although born in the United States, her singing career started in Germany under the auspices of Franc Farian, who has launched many pop bands.

She had arrived with just $15 in her pockets to join her sister in Germany in 1992.

The two Israeli doctors were both haematologists, and were returning from a professional conference in Berlin.

They were named as Prof. Yaakov Matzner, dean of the Hebrew University school of medicine, and Prof. Amiram Eldor, another leading Israeli doctor.

The Tel Aviv city official was Avishai Berkman.

Matzner, 54, served as dean of the Hebrew University-Hadassah medical school for a year, university officials said.

Eldor, 59, was the head of the haematology department at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv and a world-recognised expert in blood clotting.

Berkman, 50, served as director of the Tel Aviv economic development authority during the past year. After retiring from the Israeli air force in 1987 with a rank of lieutenant colonel, he started a career in business.


• Swiss survivor hunt abandoned
November 25, 2001

• La Bouche

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