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Utah humanitarians killed in plane crash in Guatemala


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Another deadly plane crash affects the lives of Utahns, this time in the Central American nation of Guatemala. The plane went down in a field just outside of Guatemala City, reportedly claiming the lives of 10 people. And four people on board that flight were Utahns on a humanitarian mission. Two of those four died, and two were pulled from the wreckage in critical condition.

Utah humanitarians killed in plane crash in Guatemala

The ill-fated plane was chartered by a Utah group, and everyone on board was part of the humanitarian mission except the pilot and co-pilot.

A spokesman told us tonight four volunteers on board are from Utah, their fate unknown at this hour.

The organization based in West Jordan is called Choice Humanitarian. It does development projects in Third World countries, building schools, water projects and the like. Volunteers were on their way to finish construction of a school in a Guatemalan village.

Video from Central America tonight shows a military helicopter that apparently brought in a young woman injured in the crash. The pilot of the Cessna Caravan reportedly had engine trouble and attempted an emergency landing.

Initial reports indicate ten people killed including five Americans. The Associated Press reports two of those killed were from Wisconsin.

Utah spokesman Lew Swain said he doesn't know if the four Utahns survived the crash. But he said it created "an immense amount of tragedy. This is a great tragedy for a little organization."

They're trying to get more detailed information through Guatemalan agencies and from the U.S. Embassy. It's a very rough moment for a group that's been helping the world for 30 years.

E:mail hollenhorst@ksl.com

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John Hollenhorst

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