A Peruvian airliner carrying 100 people crashed Tuesday near a jungle town while attempting an emergency landing in a storm, killing at least 37 people. The pilot tried to land in a marsh 300 miles northeast of the capital, but the impact split the aircraft in two, a regional official said.
At least 57 people from TANS Peru flight 204 were being treated at local hospitals, and it was not clear whether anyone had escaped injury in the crash.
The Boeing 737 went down near the Pucallpa municipal airport after the pilot radioed that he could not land because of strong winds and heavy rain, Norma Pasquel, a Pucallpa airport receptionist, said by phone. The plane circled the airport before trying to make the emergency landing.
Police Lt. David Mori said three foreigners were confirmed dead: an American woman, an Italian man and a Colombian woman.
Jorge Belevan, a spokesman for TANS, said the plane was on a domestic flight carrying 92 passengers and eight crew members. He said that two of 11 Americans aboard were unaccounted for and that the others were hospitalized for treatment of unspecified injuries.
Cesar Arroyo, a provincial prosecutor, told Radioprogramas that 37 to 40 bodies had been pulled from the wreckage of the flight.
"There are still many more bodies to recover, but now they have stopped operations because of darkness and the muddy terrain," he said. "Tomorrow at 7 a.m. we will finish the recovery work."
Berta Garcia, a secretary at Pucallpa's municipal hospital, told Radioprogramas that 10 bodies had been brought there.
A man identifying himself as William Zea, a passenger on the plane, told CPN radio by telephone that the plane had traveled from Lima to Pucallpa, and was scheduled to go on to the northern jungle city of Iquitos, when it "suffered some malfunction and we went down."
"There are more than 20 people injured, some of them with burns, as well as fractures," he said.
Tomas Ruiz, another passenger, told Radioprogramas: "It seems it was a matter of the weather. Ten minutes before we were to land in Pucallpa, the plane began to shake a lot."