Official: Rivera plane plummeted almost straight

Associated Press
Photos and flowers honoring late singer Jenni Rivera, placed by fans next to religious images, are seen at the cemetery where her mother is buried in Hermosillo, northern Mexico, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. U.S. authorities confirmed Monday that Rivera, a U.S.-born singer whose soulful voice and openness about her personal troubles made her a Mexican-American superstar, was killed in a plane crash early Sunday in northern Mexico. (AP Photo/Baldemar De Los Llanos)
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Photos and flowers honoring late singer Jenni Rivera, placed by fans next to religious images, are seen …

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's top transportation official says a plane carrying Mexican-American music superstar Jenni Rivera plunged almost vertically from more than 28,000 feet and hit the ground in a nose-dive at more than 600 miles an hour.

Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, Mexico's secretary of communications and transportation, offered the first detailed accounts of the moments leading up to the crash that killed Rivera and six other people aboard the Learjet on Sunday.

Ruiz told Radio Formula that the plane hit the ground 1.2 miles from where it began falling, meaning it plummeted at a nearly 45 degree angle.

He says: "The plane practically nose-dived. The impact must have been terrible."

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