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Seven killed in Peru plane crash

Five tourists and two crew died Friday when their plane crashed on a trip to view Peru’s famous Nazca lines, the transport ministry said.

The Cessna 207 single-engine plane belonging to the Aerosantos tourism company came down shortly after takeoff from the small airport of Maria Reiche in Nazca around noon, it said in a statement.

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There were no survivors among the seven on board, which a diplomatic source told AFP included two Chilean tourists.

Dozens of planes operate from the Maria Reiche airfield, flying tourists — mainly foreigners — over the Nazca lines, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The lines were etched into the desert floor some 220 miles (350 kilometers) south of Lima between 500 BC and 500 AD, according to UNESCO, and depict animals, plants, imaginary beings and geometric figures several kilometers long.

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They are believed to have had ritual astronomical function or to have served as a calendar. Most are only visible from the sky.

In October 2010, four British tourists and two Peruvian crew members were killed when an AirNasca aircraft crashed over the lines.

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