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Azerbaijan Passenger Plane Crashes

The passenger list for a crashed Azerbaijani airliner included a Briton, an Australian and a Turk, an airport official said Saturday. All 23 people aboard the plane were believed killed.

Valida Aslanova, a dispatcher at the international airport in the Azerbajani capital Baku from which the plane took off Friday night, said the passenger list also included one Georgian and four citizens of Kazakhstan. The plane was bound for Aktau, a city on Kazakhstan's Caspian Sea coast.

She did not give the names of any of the foreigners on the passenger list.

The plane disappeared from radar shortly after takeoff two airport employees told The Associated Press.

The plane, an An-140 twin turboprop belonging to Azerbaijani Airlines, crashed along Azerbaijan's Caspian shoreline, about 20 miles north of Baku.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the crash. However, local television stations reported the wreckage was spread over a space of about one mile, a pattern that could indicate an explosion.

"More information about the accident will be given after the black box (recorder) is found," first deputy prosecutor Rustam Usubov told journalists.

Officials said the plane was carrying 18 passengers and a crew of five.

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