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Luxembourg Plane Crash Kills 16 - 2002-11-06

A plane crash in heavy fog in Luxembourg, has killed 16 people and injured six others. The plane was carrying 19 passengers and a crew of three. Authorities say the Luxair plane, flying from Berlin, was attempting to land when it went down several kilometers from the Luxembourg airport. The incident occurred before noon in an area of farmland, woods, and hills.

According to one account, the twin-engine turboprop Fokker aircraft tried to land on a local road.

Luxair is the national airline of Luxembourg. An airline official said the plane's pilot contacted the tower shortly before the crash to check its altitude in the heavy fog.

Much of the plane's body was smoldering wreckage, though sections of the cockpit were partially intact. Officials say some of the survivors, including the pilot, had to be cut out of the wreckage.

An airline source said the pilot was very experienced and had flown the Fokker aircraft for a number of years. Luxair said the plane had been in service since 1991 and officials described the aircraft as normally very safe, even in cases of engine failure.

Authorities say they do not know the cause of the crash, and will await technical information from investigators and the plane's black information boxes.

A government official said many of the passengers were German. Luxembourg's prime minister and grande duchess visited the scene.