Two dead after stolen plane crashes after take-off in Belize
BELMOPAN, Belize (CMC) — The charred bodies of two persons were removed from an airplane used by a domestic airline and reportedly stolen by armed thieves in Placencia in southern Belize.
Shortly after take-off, the plane reportedly clipped a lamp post before crash landing in bushes.
“Investigation revealed that a security guard who was working at the airstrip was approached by four male persons armed with firearms who tied him up. He later heard the sounds of an aircraft starting and then thereafter he heard a loud bang and an explosion,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police, Hilberto Romero, the Regional Commander of the Eastern Division.
“Police are conducting an investigation. The area is being searched at this time for evidence. So far recovered are two human remains. Those have been extracted and taken to the morgue for a post-mortem examination,” he added.
Media reports said that the armed men were probably trying to steal the plane for narco-trafficking. The reports said that the men had arrived by boat.
“We cannot confirm how they arrived. That’s a part of the investigation. All we have right now is that they approached the security guard and tied him up,” said Romero, adding that the security guard is part of the investigation.
“He is making a report that he was held up at gunpoint and tied up, so we are looking at that,” he said, adding “we are looking at it from all angles.”
“Several items were recovered from the remains of the aircraft and those are being analysed and we will have a further report as to what all was found on the aircraft,” Romero said, adding that the identities of the pilots have not yet been determined.
The Director of Civil Aviation, Nigel Carter said preliminary investigations show that the aircraft is believed to be owned by one of the local operators.
“We haven’t checked that to guarantee that that is the case because we would have to look at the identification plates on the aircraft so that hasn’t happened as yet and as such we cannot give you a definitive answer as to the registration of the aircraft.”
Reports say the Cessna Caravan turboprop aircraft was valued at approximately three million US dollars and was reportedly being leased at US$20,000 monthly.