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World - Asia/Pacific

Plane crash near Delhi airport kills 21

March 7, 1999
Web posted at: 9:26 a.m. EST (1426 GMT)

NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- An Indian Air Force transport plane crashed near a New Delhi airport on Sunday, killing 21 people, including three on the ground, authorities said.

The Russian-built Antonov AN-32 suddenly veered off its landing path and crashed into a construction site, smashing dozens of brick shacks used to house workers before vaulting into a drinking water reservoir.

"There was a fire and the plane exploded," said a worker at the site. "Some burning parts fell on the huts of laborers. I saw some people running out of their huts on fire."

The cause of the crash was not known and rescuers on Sunday were searching for the flight data recorder.

The plane, which can carry 16, was en route from Gwalior in central India when it crashed about two kilometers (1.5 miles) from the airport, Press Trust of India reported.

It was the second air accident in three days in India. On Friday, an Air France cargo plane crash-landed in the southern city of Madras. The plane burned, but only one of the five-member crew was injured.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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