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(LEAD) Asiana Airlines cargo plane crashes off Jeju

All Headlines 09:59 July 28, 2011

(ATTN: ADDS possible cause at bottom; photos)

JEJU, South Korea, July 28 (Yonhap) -- A cargo plane operated by Asiana Airlines, South Korea's second-largest flagship carrier, crashed into the sea off Jeju Island early Thursday, killing two, the Coast Guard said.

Debris of the Boeing-744 aircraft, which departed from Incheon International Airport at 3:05 a.m. heading for China's Pudong, was found in waters about 107 kilometers west of the city of Jeju by a Coast Guard patrol boat at 6:40 a.m., the Coast Guard said.

The Asiana plane with two pilots disappeared from radar at 4:09 a.m. and crashed about 20 minutes later while returning to Jeju International Airport after reporting some mechanical trouble, officials said.

Officials at Asiana and the transportation ministry said the crash may have been caused by an in-flight fire, noting that the plane was carrying inflammable materials in its 58-ton cargo.


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