Five children among 10 dead in Colombia plane crash

BOGOTA - Five children were among 10 people killed Wednesday when their small plane crashed in central Colombia after developing technical problems, officials said.

The plane's pilot had asked for an emergency landing at Mariquita airport but the aircraft never got that far, said Colonel Carlos Roche, deputy director of Colombia's aviation authority.

"Unfortunately, it didn't make it and crashed eight miles (13 kilometers) from the airport," killing the two pilots and eight passengers, he said.

Among them were five children, the aviation authority added. All those on board the Piper PA-31 Navajo plane were Colombian.

Investigators are at the crash site and rescuers had recovered the victims' charred bodies.

The accident occurred as Colombia's Congress debates the state of aviation safety in the country, which one senator accused of having "outdated infrastructure" in some airports and "crews that work grueling shifts with no labour rules."