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1 AMERICAN AND KUWAITI PRINCE AMONG 44 KILLED IN AIRLINER CRASH

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An American and a Kuwaiti prince were on a Royal Air Maroc passenger plane that crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 44 people aboard.

The airline said the ATR-42 aircraft that crashed Sunday evening was on a flight from the southern city of Agadir to Casablanca. All 40 passengers, including a baby, and the four crew members were killed when the plane plunged to Earth 10 minutes after taking off.Sixteen of the dead were foreigners, including an unidentified American, eight Italian tourists and three or four French citizens, according to the state-owned airline.

Also dead in the 7 p.m. crash was a Kuwaiti prince identified as 38-year-old Ali al-Mahmoud al-Jabir al-Sabah, brother of the Kuwaiti defense minister, it said.

The other passengers' names were not released.

It was not immediately known what caused the accident, which occurred at Douar Izounine, about 20 miles north of Agadir.

An airline spokesman said the weather apparently posed no problem at the time of the accident.

Moroccan Civil Aviation Director Mohammed Mouffid told the radio network Europe-1 that the plane had taken off in midafternoon and landed in Agadir, where it stayed until the return flight to Casablanca shortly before 7 p.m.

"Ten minutes later, the crew sent out a distress signal," he said. "A search team was sent out and the wreckage found around 8:30 p.m. Unfortunately none of the 44 people on board survived."