-- A Tunisian passenger plane carrying 39 people crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on Saturday while trying to make an emergency landing in Sicily because of engine trouble. At least 13 people were killed, officials said, and three were missing.

Palermo Prosecutor Piero Grasso said 23 survivors were taken off rescue boats on stretchers at the city's port. Some passengers clung to the plane's wings in rough seas while waiting to be rescued, media reports said.

Grasso said 13 people were confirmed dead and three were missing. He had reported a toll of 19 earlier Saturday, but he said that was based on overlapping information from rescue groups.

A Palermo port official, Vincenzo Pace, told Sky TG24 television that some bodies were found several miles from the wreckage.

Nine survivors were reported in serious condition. At least three crew members survived. Tunisian officials said all the passengers were Italians.

Grasso said the twin-propeller plane, an ATR-72, was forced to make the water landing about eight miles off Sicily because of a "technical problem." He ruled out terrorism as the cause.

The plane was traveling from Bari, Italy, to Djerba, Tunisia. It was operated by Tuninter, an affiliate of Tunisair, the national airline.

Crew members reported engine trouble to the Rome airport tower at 3:24 p.m. and said they would have to land at Palermo's airport. Sixteen minutes later, the crew told tower officials, "We're ditching in the sea," according to Nicoletta Tommessile, a spokeswoman for Italy's air safety agency.