A sightseeing plane with 46 aboard crashed into a hotel and exploded shortly after takeoff from a northern Chinese city Friday, killing 42 people on board, an official daily said Saturday.
The China Youth News said four on the Soviet-built Ilyushin Il-14 were injured, and some workers in the hotel also sustained injuries in the accident in Linfen, Shanxi province, about 400 miles southwest of Beijing.It said the passengers on the piston-engine light transport plane were all employees of a local knitting factory. They had paid $4.30 each for a 15-minute air tour of the region.
The daily said the plane went down one minute after takeoff, crashing into the roof of the Xinqiao Hotel. Four passengers managed to escape seconds before the plane exploded. The four crewmembers were all killed.
The sightseeing service, operated by a local air company, had just begun on Oct. 1, China's National Day.
Wang Shichang, director of the knitting factory and one of the four on board who escaped, said his group had seen a television report on the sightseeing flight and decided to take it "as we have earned a lot of money recently. We never imagined we would have this disaster."
It was the second major plane accident of the year in China, following the crash of a Soviet-designed Ilyushin Il-18 four-engine turboprop operated by the national airways CAAC in January that killed 108 near the southwest China city of Chungking.