Papal Sympathy for Peru Airliner Victims

VATICAN CITY, AUG. 24, 2005 ( Benedict XVI sent a message of sympathy after receiving news of an airliner tragedy in Peru that left 31 people dead and 10 missing.

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The telegram, sent today by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, stated: “[P]rofoundly saddened by the numerous victims and wounded,” the Holy Father prays “for the eternal rest of the deceased and raises fervent prayers that the Lord will grant consolation to all those who mourn the lamentable tragedy.”

The message asked the apostolic vicar of Pucallpa, Bishop Juan Luís Martín Buisson, to “transmit the deepest sympathy of His Holiness to the relatives and to express to the wounded his paternal solicitude and sentiments of closeness.”

The TANS Peru airliner, which covered the Lima-Pucallpa route and was carrying 98 people including a crew of six, split in two Tuesday during an emergency landing near the Pucallpa airport, in the Ucayali region.

A press report said that 57 escaped the burning wreckage.

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