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Originally published Saturday, October 17, 2009 at 1:59 AM

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Philippine plane crash in Manila suburb kills 4

A propeller-driven plane on a test flight crashed and burst into flames in a suburb of the Philippine capital on Saturday, killing at least four people onboard, airport officials said.

The Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines —

A propeller-driven plane on a test flight crashed and burst into flames in a suburb of the Philippine capital on Saturday, killing at least four people onboard, airport officials said.

The DC-3 plane scraped the roofs of 14 houses in Las Pinas city before it crashed into an abandoned warehouse, but no one was immediately reported injured on the ground, police said. Local residents said two houses close to the warehouse caught fire.

The charred remains of four people have been recovered at the site, Manila airport security manager Angel Atutubo said.

The plane departed Manila airport for Puerto Princesa city in Palawan province southwest of Manila around noon, but the pilot turned the plane back minutes later asking for permission for an emergency landing, Atutubo said.

The plane owned by Victoria Air Inc. was on a test flight, Manila airport operations manager Octavio Lina said. The company could not be reached for comment.

The flight manifest showed seven people on board, including the pilot, but crash investigators could not immediately confirm that number of people was on the plane, Atutubo said. Hours after firefighters put out the fire caused by the crash, only four bodies had been found, he said.

Lita Velasco, who lives nearby, showed with her hand how the plane appeared to wobble, its wings tipping up and down erratically, before it hit the ground followed by a loud explosion.

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