UN chief mourns death of staff in Bolivia plane crash

The Cessna plane left La Paz airport on Thursday to monitor coca growing.

Updated: May 09, 2011, 15:11 PM IST

New York: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said he was deeply saddened at the news that four UN anti-drug workers and two pilots were killed in a plane crash in Bolivia, Xinhua reported.

According to a statement issued by the UN, Ban said he was "deeply saddened to learn that four staff members of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), along with two air force pilots, were killed in a plane crash in Bolivia while monitoring for narcotic crops".

Ban sent his condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the deceased, the statement said.

The six people were found dead after their plane crashed in western Bolivia on Friday.

The Cessna plane left La Paz airport on Thursday to monitor coca growing in Los Yungas region, Bolivia`s main coca growing region northeast of the capital.

The crash site area, on the eastern slope of the Andes, is characterised by thick forests and deep ravines.

Bolivia is the world`s third largest producer of coca leaf -- the source plant for cocaine -- after Peru and Colombia, according to the UNODC.

Bureau Report