4 killed after medical plane crashes in southern Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Two pilots, a nurse and a doctor were killed Friday after their medical plane crashed at the airport in the southern Argentinean city of Rio Grande, state news agency Telam reported.

The plane, a Learjet 35A, plummeted to the ground shortly after takeoff at 2:36 p.m. local time (1736 GMT), causing a large explosion that could be heard in different parts of the city in Tierra del Fuego Province.

The aircraft on a medical mission had carried a patient to Rio Grande and was preparing to return to capital city Nuenos Aires.

"The plane crashed within the grounds of the Naval Air Base, about 1,000 meters from a populated area, leaving a large trail of fire and smoke," Telam reported.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the accident.