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6 dead, 2 missing in 3 Mexican plane crashes

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MEXICO CITY (AP) - Three small planes flying in or headed to Mexico have crashed in two days, leaving at least six people dead and two missing.

A Mexican-registered Cessna 150 crashed Tuesday afternoon shortly after takeoff from Mina International Airport in the Gulf coast city of Tampico in northeastern Tamaulipas state. The pilot and passenger were killed, authorities said.

Later in the day, a Learjet that left the airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for Cozumel, Mexico, plunged into the Atlantic with four people aboard, a U.S. official said.

The Learjet 35, with a Mexican registration, went down in the sea after taking off from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said in an email.

The Coast Guard said in a news release late Tuesday that search crews had found the wreckage about 2 miles (about 3 kilometers) northeast of the airport. It said two deaths were confirmed and a search continued for the two others who were aboard the plane.

On Monday, the pilot and a passenger were killed in the crash of a small plane in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. The Civil Aviation Office said the Mexican-registered plane took off from the northern state of Nuevo Leon and crashed in the mountains of Veracruz, just short of its intended destination, the Veracruz state capital of Xalapa.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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