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Authorities Investigate Cause of Azerbaijan Plane Crash


Authorities in Azerbaijan are searching for clues to explain why an Azerbaijani Airlines plane crashed late Friday, killing all 23 people aboard.

Crews are searching the wreckage of the twin-engine turboprop Antonov An-140 for the flight data recorders. Officials say they do not know why the plane crashed, but expect to learn more after the so-called "black boxes" are recovered.

The plane went down just off shore in the Caspian Sea, near the town of Nardaran, shortly after taking off from the capital, Baku, on a flight to the Kazakhstan town of Aktau.

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev visited the crash site today-Saturday. Authorities have set up a special commission to investigate the crash.

The plane carried a crew of five, and 18 passengers, eight of whom are listed as foreigners -- four citizens of Kazakhstan, and one each from Australia, Britain, Georgia and Turkey.

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

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