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updated: 2/21/2014 5:42 AM

Tunisia: 11 Libyans dead in medical plane crash

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Associated Press

TUNIS, Tunisia -- A medical flight from Libya crashed in a field near Tunis in the early hours of Friday morning, killing all 11 Libyans on board, Tunisia's civil defense said.

The plane went down in a sparsely inhabited farming area in the Grombalia region, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of Tunis, the capital, and burst into flames. Army units and civil protection services rushed to the scene to put out the fire and extract bodies.

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Civil defense confirmed there were 11 people on board the Antonov 26 aircraft -- six crewman and five passengers, three of whom were seeking medical treatment in Tunisia.

Amateur video showed images of the broken, burned aircraft with its tail bearing Libyan colors.

Defense spokesman Tawfik Rahmouni told the state news agency that the crew had been in contact with Tunis-Carthage airport to say the plane's engines had caught fire before communication was lost. Investigators recovered the black box. The radio said the flight had originated at Mitiga airport in Tripoli.

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