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Cypriot Airliner Crashes in Greece, Killing All 121 on Board


Greek officials say all 121 people aboard a Cypriot airliner were killed when the plane crashed near Athens today-Sunday.

The dead include six crew members and 115 passengers, 48 of whom were children. Officials in Cyprus say most or all of those killed were Cypriot nationals.

Helios Airways flight 522 was approaching Athens when it slammed into a mountainous area about 40 kilometers northeast of the Greek capital.

Both Greek and Cypriot officials have said they do not think the crash of the Boeing 737 jet was caused by terrorism.

Greek authorities suspect the crash was caused by a sudden loss of cabin pressure that deprived the crew and passengers of oxygen.

One passenger reportedly sent a mobile text message to a cousin, saying it was freezing on the plane and that one of the pilots had turned blue in the face.

The flight data and cockpit voice recorders have been recovered from the plane that left Larnaca, Cyprus for Prague with a planned stop in Athens.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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