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Jet Crashes Before Picking Up former preside Bush


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Jet Crashes Before Picking Up Elder Bush

5 minutes ago Top Stories - AP

By JUAN A. LOZANO, Associated Press Writer

HOUSTON - A private jet that was en route to Houston to pick up former President Bush (news - web sites) clipped a light pole and crashed Monday as it approached Hobby Airport in thick fog, killing all three people aboard.

AP Photo

Jet Crashes in Houston Fog, Killing Three

(AP Video)

The Gulfstream G-1159A jet, coming into Houston, went down about 6:15 a.m. in an undeveloped area 1 1/2 miles south of the airport, officials said. The former president had been scheduled to travel to Ecuador for a conference.

"I was deeply saddened to learn of the plane crash this morning," Bush said through spokesman Tom Freschette. "I'd flown with this group before and know them well. I join in sending heartfelt condolences to each and every member of their families."

The names of the three crew members were not immediately released.

Bush was going to give a lecture for the Quayaquil, Ecuador, Chamber of Commerce (news - web sites), Freschette said, adding, "It's very sad." He was to have accompanied Bush, as was a Secret Service agent.

Earlier, Jack Williams, a district chief with the Houston Fire Department, confirmed three people had died.

The jet, en route from Love Field in Dallas, was approaching the runway when it clipped the light pole, losing part of a wing, authorities said. Wreckage extended about 100 yards from there, Williams said.

There was no rain but dense fog blanketed most of the area, officials said.

Robert Randall, operations manager with the plane's owner, Jet Place Inc. of Tulsa, Okla., said it had two pilots and a flight attendant aboard. The company has a fleet of 18 jets and employs about 150 people, he said.

Flight operations at Hobby Airport were not affected by the crash, officials said, but a portion of the heavily traveled Beltway 8 tollway near the crash site was closed.

Eduardo Maruri, president of the Guayaquil Chamber of Commerce, said that Bush suspended his visit until next month because of the crash.

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