The Colombian government has grounded the country's four Caravelle airliners pending the outcome of an inquiry into the crash of an internal flight on Sunday which claimed the lives of 70 people.
GV PAN ACROSS Smouldering remains of aircraft in woods
SV PAN Soldiers and rescue workers wandering through wreckage (4 shots)
SCU PULL BACK GV Torn and burnt pieces of material in tree
SV PAN Human remains in plastic bags on ground, and body carried away on stretcher
SV More bodies on ground with soldiers collecting remains and carrying them away (2 shots)
GV ZOOM SV Soldiers dig grave
SV Soldiers put remains into mass grave
GV PAN Rescuers and soldiers standing around plastic bags on ground
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Background: The Colombian government has grounded the country's four Caravelle airliners pending the outcome of an inquiry into the crash of an internal flight on Sunday which claimed the lives of 70 people. The grounding was ordered as a precautionary measure. The precise cause of the crash is not clear, but authorities have confirmed the plane hit the ground soon after an explosion on board.
SYNOPSIS: The French-built Caravelle crashed into a hilly forest only seven minutes after take off from the Caribbean town of Riohacha.
None of the 70 people on board had any hope of survival. Rescue workers had trouble locating the various parts of the aircraft which had broken apart and burst into flames on impact. Reports from Bogota indicate the flight may have been sabotaged. Airline officials have been quoted as saying they had received a telephone tip-off moments after the crash saying a bomb had been planted on the plane.
Early reports said 68 people had died in the crash, but a check of the passenger lists revealed a final death toll of 70. Colombian soldiers and rescue workers spent several hours sifting through the wreckage for bodies. Most had been so badly burned, the victims could not be identified.
A grave was dug near the crash site for the burial of the unidentified remains.
It is known that one of the victims was the 16-year old daughter of Major Julio Otalora, Colombia's Director of Civil Aviation, who is in charge of the crash investigation.
Two Caravelle engineers arrived at the crash site on Monday night to start a detailed inquiry.