A tragic plane crash in Brazil’s northern Amazon state on Saturday has left 14 people dead, including 12 tourists and two crew members. The plane was flying from Manaus, the state capital and the largest city in the Amazon, to Barcelos, a remote town known for its fishing and ecotourism.
The plane, an Embraer PT-SOG aircraft operated by Manaus Aerotaxi, was attempting to land in heavy rain when it crashed near a dirt track in the rainforest.
The plane was severely damaged and the front part of the aircraft was engulfed by green foliage. Local residents and authorities rushed to the scene to help the victims, but none of them survived.
The governor of Amazonas state, Wilson Lima, expressed his condolences to the families of the victims on X, formerly known as Twitter. “I deeply regret the death of the 12 passengers and two crew members who were victims of the plane crash in Barcelos on Saturday,” he wrote.
The mayor of Barcelos, Edson de Paula Rodrigues Mendes, confirmed the crash of a medium-sized plane and said there were 12 tourists on board in addition to a pilot and co-pilot who were all killed.
The Brazilian air force sent a team from Manaus to collect information and preserve any evidence that could be used for the investigation into the crash, an air force statement said. The cause of the crash is still unknown, but some experts have suggested that poor weather conditions and human error could have been factors.
The plane crash is one of the worst aviation disasters in Brazil’s history and has raised questions about the safety and regulation of small aircraft in the country. Brazil has a large network of regional airlines that serve remote areas, but some of them have been criticized for their lack of maintenance and oversight.