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Seven dead after tourist plane crashes

Seven people have died after a tourist plane crashed on a trip to view Peru’s famous Nazca Lines, the transport ministry said.

The Cessna 207 single-engine plane came down shortly after takeoff from the small airport of Maria Reiche in Nazca at around midday on Friday.

Everyone onboard the plane, including five tourists and two crew members was killed.

The tourists were two Chileans and three people from the Netherlands, the civil defence office in Nazca said.

Dozens of planes operate from the Maria Reiche airfield, flying tourists – mainly foreigners – over the Nazca Lines, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Lines are one of Peru’s top tourist attractions and were etched into the desert some 220 miles south of Lima between 500 BC and 500 AD.

They depict animals, plants, imaginary beings and geometric figures several kilometres long.

The Lines are believed to have had a ritual astronomical function or to have served as a calendar. Most are only visible from the sky.

The Cessna, which belonged to the Aerosantos tourism company, crashed as it was beginning its aerial tour of the site.

The wreckage of a plane that crashed near the Nazca Lines in Nazca, Peru
Everyone onboard the plane was killed in the crash (Picture: AFP)
An aerial view of the condor geoglyph in the Nazca desert, in southern Peru.
Most of the Nasca Lines can only be seen from the air (Picture: AP)

It came down at the edge of a road, radio station RPP said.

The plane exploded on impact and burst into flames said Canal N, which published video of the smoking remains of the aircraft.

The transport ministry said it will investigate the cause of the crash.

Brigadier Juan Tirado, a firefighter with the 82nd Fire Company in Nazca, said the Nazca Lines themselves were not damaged.

In October 2010, four British tourists and two Peruvian crew members were killed when an AirNasca aircraft crashed over the Lines.

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