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Mexico moves to quell foul play rumors in deadly plane crash

Authorities released radar images Wednesday in a bid to show that the plane crash that killed two top drug war officials Tuesday night was an accident, not sabotage.

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Mexican authorities have moved quickly to quell rumors that any foul play was involved in a plane crash Tuesday night that killed more than a dozen people, including two top officials leading Mexico's violent battle against drug traffickers.

In an unusual move, authorities released radar images to underscore that, as of now, the crash appears not to have been an act of sabotage.

The images released follow the plane's descent – until the radar lost its altitude reading – before it crashed into busy rush-hour traffic.

Officials also played a recording of the final conversation between the control tower and the flight crew of the government Learjet, which was on an approach to Mexico City's airport. The pilot and air-traffic controllers discussed radio frequencies until communication cut out. "Can you hear me?" a controller asks the pilot. No emergency call was placed.

Mexican officials said they have found no evidence of a bomb explosion in the air. "Up to now, no indications have been detected that would allow us to form any hypothesis different from those of an accident," Luis Tellez, the transport secretary, told reporters Wednesday.

But he promised a "meticulous" investigation that could take weeks to complete. Authorities also said that US and British teams are being dispatched to assist in the investigation.

"It is rare for the government to release this information," says Erubiel Tirado, a security expert at the Iberoamerican University in Mexico City. One reason they've done so, he says, might be to address the suspicions that Mexicans have that this was actually the act of drug traffickers. "Many people on the street believe this was not an accident."

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