Buenos Aires — A commercial airplane crashed on Wednesday night in southern Argentina's Patagonia region, killing all 22 people on board.
"A disaster," Dr Ismael Ali, director of the hospital in Los Menucos, said on Argentine television after returning from the crash site in Rio Negro province. "We found only burning wreckage." There were no survivors in the remains of the plane, which were spread over a 100-metre-wide area near Prahuaniyeu, about 350 kilometres west of Bariloche, he said.
The victims were severely burned, he said.
The pilots of the two-engine propeller Saab 340 belonging to the regional airline Sol made several distress calls shortly before the aircraft went down, news reports said.
A Sol spokesman refused to comment on what might have caused the crash, but national media reports said icing and a technical malfunction might have played a role.
The plane with 19 passengers, two pilots and a flight attendant on board had been flying from Neuquen to Comodoro Rivadavia on the Atlantic coast.
Residents in the area said they saw a glow in the night sky and then heard several explosions. — dpa