Condolences for Ecuadorean Air Tragedy

Plane Disappeared in the Andes with 92 Aboard

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 29, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II expressed his sympathy and assurance of prayer for the 92 passengers of the plane that disappeared Monday in northern Ecuador.



In a telegram sent in the Holy Father´s name to the apostolic nuncios in Ecuador and Colombia, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state, expresses the Pope´s profound sadness, and his wish to communicate his sorrow "over the tragedy of the Ecuadorean plane" to the victims´ families.

Among the passengers were three nuns of the Congregation of Our Lady of the Presentation.

"At this time of sorrow and anguish, the Supreme Pontiff raises his prayer to the Lord for the deceased passengers and their families, asking for all of them the gifts of peace and serenity," the telegram states.

The Boeing 727-100 owned by Ecuadorean Military Air Transports crashed on Monday in the high Andean border area between Ecuador and Colombia.

In his message, the Holy Father also refers to the victims of an air accident which occurred this month near the Colombia-Ecuador border. A plane of the state oil firm Petroecuador was flying from Quito to Nueva Loja when it crashed Jan. 17, killing 21 passengers and five crew members.