Five tourists and two crew members died Friday when their plane crashed while traveling to view Peru’s famous Nazca Lines, the transportation ministry said.
The single-engine Cessna 207 plane belonging to the tourism company Aerosantos crashed from the small Maria Reiche airport in Nazca shortly after takeoff around noon, a statement said.
There were no survivors among the seven on board, which a diplomatic source told AFP included two Chilean tourists.
Dozens of planes operate from the Maria Reiche Airport, flying tourists – mainly foreigners – over the Nazca Lines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The lines were built between 500 BC, according to UNESCO. and 500 AD. Etched into the desert floor some 350 kilometers south of Lima, depicting animals, plants, imaginary creatures and geometric figures several kilometers long.
They are believed to have had a ritual astronomical function or to have served as a calendar. Most are only visible from the air.
In October 2010, four British tourists and two Peruvian crew members were killed when an AirNasca plane crashed over the lines.