By BosNewsLife News Center
WASHINGTON/TOKYO/BUDAPEST– Officials on Monday, March 23, began investigating plane crashes in three countries which killed 16 people, most of them in United States, where aviation experts wanted to know why a single-engine plane plunged into a cemetery in the northwestern state of Montana.
The Federal Aviation Administration said seven children were among the 14 people killed in that accident. Authorities said they believe the passengers were on their way to a ski trip Sunday, March 22.
Thousands of miles away near Tokyo, Japan, officials rushed to Narita international airport, where a Federal Express plane crashed after arriving from Guangzhou in China, killing two crew members.
Japan’s public broadcaster NHK showed footage of the plane bouncing as it landed on the runway, then bursting into flames.
Dozens of flights were cancelled as one runway at Narita remains closed. The cause of the crash was not immediately known.
In Europe, authorities wanted to know why a Ukrainian plane with 44 passengers and crew on board skidded off the runway after landing at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on Monday, March 23.
No one was reportedly injured, but television footage showed the Embraer ERJ145 of the Dniproavia aviation company leaning on its nose several meters (yards) from the runway.
All 44 passengers and crew were evacuated safely, the state-run Anatolia news agency said. News reports said the plane’s front landing gear was stuck in mud.
In the United States, the crashed plane took off without troubles from southern California, and made other stops in that state before heading north to Bozeman, Montana.
Authorities said however that the pilot changed course 140 kilometers short of its final destination and crashed in Butte, Montana. Witnesses said the Pilatus turbo-prop aircraft burst into flames when it crashed into a cemetery, the Voice of America (VOA) network reported. (BosNewsLife’s NEWS WATCH is a regular look at key news developments impacting the Church and/or compassionate professionals).