MEXICO CITY, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- At least eight people were killed on Thursday when a small plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the airport of Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico's southeast Chiapas State, authorities said.
The accident occurred at around 02:00 p.m. local time (2000 GMT). The private aircraft was traveling to the southern state of Oaxaca at the time and encountered a strong gust of wind, according to the state civil protection department.
Unofficial versions of the crash say the crash was caused by an explosion of one of the engines of the aircraft, a PA-31 model of Pipper Navajo.
Witnesses said that the accident occurred at the time of takeoff after fire and smoke came out of one of the wings. Preliminary data also indicate that the crash could be caused by bad weather.
Among the passengers were eight people, including three adults, three children and two pilots.
The airport operations were suspended after the accident while Mexican army personnel, police agencies and civil protection elements were deployed in the area.
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