Asia

Philippines plane crashes into school in Paranaque

The crash site in Paranaque, the Philippines, 10 December 2011
Image caption At least 30 houses were set on fire after the plane crashed into a school building

A small plane has crashed in the Philippines into a school building in Paranaque near the capital, Manila.

At least 13 people were killed, including two children, police and Red Cross officials say.

Paranaque's Mayor, Florencio Bernabe, said no classes were in session when the plane crash landed shortly after take-off from an airport in Manila.

A fire at the school quickly spread to surrounding shanty houses. It is not clear how many people were on board.

"The crash set fire to at least 30 houses. These are shanties, made of light materials," Gwendolyn Pang, of the Philippine Red Cross, told the AFP news agency.

Ramon Gutierrez, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, said the light plane had sent out a distress call shortly after take-off, AP news agency reports.

The plane, bound for Mindoro Island, crashed at about 14:30 local time (06:30 GMT).

A resident told The Philippine Star newspaper that a Christmas party has just been held at the school.

Mr Bernabe said at least 20 people had been taken to hospital with injuries, AFP reports.

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