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Soundarya killed in plane crash

Press Trust of India

Posted: Apr 17, 2004 at 1253 hrs IST

Popular south Indian actress Soundarya and her brother were among four people charred to death when the single-engine Cessna-180 aircraft carrying them for BJP campaign in Andhra Pradesh crashed and exploded in flames within three minutes after taking off from the city outskirts on Saturday.

The four-seater aircraft crashed near the agricultural university campus on the fringes of the Jakkur airfield, charring the bodies of the victims, including the pilot, beyond recognition, police and officials of Agni Aviation, which owns the aircraft, said.

The 32-year-old actress, who had made it big in the south Indian celluloid world, especially in Telugu and Tamil films, pairing with superstars’ Rajnikanth and Chiranjeevi, was flying to Karimnagar in Andhra Pradesh. She had joined BJP recently.

Soundarya's brother Amarnath, BJP worker Ramesh Kadam and pilot Capt Joy Philips were the other victims.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation has begun investigation to find the cause of the crash.

The aircraft took off at 1105 hours and crashed from 100 feet altitude before catching fire, Capt Arvind Sharma, Chief Executive Officer of Agni Aviation, said.

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