Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Brown Perishes in Croatian Crash All 33 aboard Are Believed to Be Dead

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Brown Perishes in Croatian Crash All 33 aboard Are Believed to Be Dead

Article excerpt

U.S. officials blamed poor weather and rugged Balkan terrain for the deaths of Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown and several American business executives in a U.S. Air Force jetliner that crashed Wednesday in Croatia.

Glyn Davies, a State Department spokesman, said Brown, 54, was presumed dead. Another State Department official said, "There don't appear to be any survivors."

The Pentagon reported that 33 people were on board the T-43A, a military version of a Boeing 737, but officials were delaying releasing a list of the 27 passengers and six crew members. The pilot was making an instrument landing in a rainstorm when the jetliner vanished from radar. Visibility at the airport was less than 100 yards. Although Dubrovnik's airport was still open, several commercial flights were diverted Wednesday. And yet, before Brown's plane attempted to land, five flights arrived at the airport successfully. Croatian news services reported that a woman survived the crash but died on the way to a hospital. After 10 bodies were recovered, the search was suspended until daybreak. Wreckage was strewn over a wide area. Among the passengers on the plane were several of Secretary Brown's aides and a number of American business executives taking part in the tr ade mission. Nathaniel Nash, the Frankfurt Bureau Chief of The New York Times, apparently was killed in the crash. The crash site was on a 2,300-foot-high ridge called St. John's Hill, about two miles north of Dubrovnik's airport. The rocky bluff is less than 1 1/2 miles east of the hamlet of Cavtat, which sits on a small peninsula jutting into the Adriatic Sea south of Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik's airport is in the town of Cilipi. Clintons Flew On Plane Miljenko Radic, the head of Croatia's civilian air control, said the plane approached the airport "left of the usual route. It should not have been there." Planes usually approach the airport from over the water to avoid the mo untains inland, but the approach from the sea is tricky as well. Before landing, planes encounter hills 300 to 600 feet high before a quick descent to the single, 2-mile-long runway. …

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