(Updates with higher death toll)


The eight occupants of a twin-engine plane died when the aircraft crashed while landing in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, firefighters said Saturday.

Firefighters in the state of Minas Gerais originally found seven mutilated bodies in the wooded area where the accident occurred, and had to continue their search for almost two hours until they found the charred remains of the eighth and last victim.

The accident occurred around 7:30 a.m. near Serrinha Airport in Juiz de Fora at a time of fairly unfavorable weather conditions due to low visibility in the thick fog.

Among the victims were the president of the Vilma Alimentos company, Domingos Costa, who was also an adviser to the traditional Brazilian soccer club Cruzeiro, as well as the vice president of sales and marketing of the same firm, Cezar Tavares.

The plane's pilot and copilot also died, as did the four other passengers, also employees of Vilma Alimentos but whose identities were not provided by the company.

According to the Fire Department bulletin, the plane that crashed was a Beech King Air B-200 twin-engine turboprob with a capacity for 10 passengers that was on a flight from Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais, to Juiz de Fora, the second largest city in the state.

The aircraft, property of Vilma Alimentos, hit a country inn and several trees before going down and exploding in a forest reserve on a farm near the airport.

Members of the company's management were arriving on the plane to participate in a conference organized by the Minas Gerais State Federation of Industries in Juiz de Fora. EFE