Mexican Learjet 45 Crash: Accident or Sabotage?

 - November 6, 2008, 10:47 AM

NTSB and Mexican aviation accident investigators are on scene in Mexico City, where a Learjet 45 (XC-VMC) crashed into a mixed residential/commercial neighborhood while on approach to Mexico City Airport on Tuesday evening. According to the NTSB, all nine aboard the Learjet–Mexican Interior Secretary Juan Camillo Mourino, his aides, former head of Mexico’s organized crime unit José Luis Santiago Vasconcelos and three crewmembers–were killed in the accident. Five people on the ground were also killed when the jet crashed into a number of cars, setting them on fire, and 40 others were reportedly injured, with 16 of them still hospitalized. Mexican investigators said the crash appeared to have been an accident, but sabotage can’t be ruled out because Mourino and Vasconcelos have both played roles in fighting the drug cartels. To quell speculation about sabotage, Mexican authorities yesterday made the unprecedented step of releasing radar images of the Learjet’s final track along with recordings of the pilot’s last communications with controllers. The investigation is still ongoing.