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ALL 22 ABOARD KILLED AS CUBAN JET SLAMS INTO MOUNTAIN IN VENEZUELA

A Russian-made Cuban jet smashed into the side of a mountain near the Venezuelan city of Valencia, killing all 22 people on board, authorities said Sunday.

There was no immediate explanation for Saturday night's crash, which was the state-owned Cubana de Aviacion airline's second major accident in less than a week.

It also added to the sense of tragedy in Venezuela, which was hit by massive floods and mudslides 11 days ago that killed as many as 30,000 people.

Among the dead in Saturday's crash were 10 passengers -- four Venezuelans, four Cubans and two Dutch -- civil defense chief Angel Rangel said. The 12-member crew was Cuban.

The victims included a 9-year-old girl traveling from Havana, where she had been staying with relatives, to be reunited with her parents, who lost their home in the Venezuelan mudslides and were staying at a shelter for survivors in Valencia, Rangel said.

The plane had been due to take back some of the 450 Cuban doctors who have been helping to treat victims of the mudslides.

The Yak-42 aircraft, which was flying to Venezuela from the Cuban capital, crashed at about 9 p.m. Saturday (8 p.m. EST) in the unpopulated Tocuyito mountain range while on its approach to the Valencia airport five miles away.

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