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Rescue Teams Locate Wreckage of Tans Peru Plane

Rescue teams have located the wreckage of a Tans Peru plane carrying 46 people, which disappeared two days ago in Peru's Amazon jungle. There appear to be no survivors.

Rescue teams reached the wreckage Saturday morning, after two days of frustrating search for the missing plane.

The Fokker F-28 passenger jet was spotted Friday afternoon on the side of a mountain, 15 kilometers north of its destination - the town of Chachapoyas, about 650 kilometers north of Lima.

The plane crashed into the mountain at about 3,000 meters above sea level, an area routinely covered with dense morning fog.

Transport Minister Javier Reategui said a combined team of local rescuers, air force and police personnel was on the scene late Saturday morning, and had found no survivors.

The minister says the rescuers reported wreckage and body remains scattered over a wide area.

Initial helicopter rescue efforts had been stopped by torrential rains and the dense jungle underbrush. Local residents told ground rescue crews they heard an explosion in the area, but without the help of the helicopters, those crews could not locate the plane.

The region is rich in archeological ruins, and has increasingly drawn more tourists. In October, Tans airline began weekly service to Chachapoyas, after years of no air service there.

Last year, Peru's First Lady made several flights to the area, promoting its tourist possibilities for the Kuelap ruins and a new museum dedicated to an important find of mummies.

Tans is state-owned, and run by the Peruvian air force. It was created to provide flights to areas not profitable for commercial airlines.

Some foreigners, including Belgian, Spanish, Cuban and Dutch nationals were reported among the 46 people on board.