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11 dead after Colombian military plane crashes from lightning strike, local media reports

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - APRIL 8: (FILE PHOTO) A Casa 235 turboprop plane with registration number N168D taxis along a runway at Ruzyne Airport April 8, 2005 in Prague, Czech Republic. According to airport flight records the plane was registered to the firm Aero Contractors, based in North Carolina, and was scheduled to fly from Prague to Kabul, Afghanistan. In May, 2005 the New York Times reported that Aero Contractors was involved in transporting terrorism suspects to third countries. And on November 17, 2005, Agence France Presse reported that a plane with registration number N168D and owned by Devon Holding and Leasing passed through Danish airspace on October 3, 2005 en route from Iceland to Budapest. Countries across Europe are investigating reports that airplanes flying for the CIA landed at their airports or passed through their airspace without their permission.      (Photo by Pavel Horejsi/Getty Images)

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - APRIL 8: (FILE PHOTO) A Casa 235 turboprop plane with registration number N168D taxis along a runway at Ruzyne Airport April 8, 2005 in Prague, Czech Republic. According to airport flight records the plane was registered to the firm Aero Contractors, based in North Carolina, and was scheduled to fly from Prague to Kabul, Afghanistan. In May, 2005 the New York Times reported that Aero Contractors was involved in transporting terrorism suspects to third countries. And on November 17, 2005, Agence France Presse reported that a plane with registration number N168D and owned by Devon Holding and Leasing passed through Danish airspace on October 3, 2005 en route from Iceland to Budapest. Countries across Europe are investigating reports that airplanes flying for the CIA landed at their airports or passed through their airspace without their permission. (Photo by Pavel Horejsi/Getty Images)  (2005 Getty Images)

A Colombian military transport plane crashed in the country's north on Friday, killing all 11 personnel aboard.

The twin-engine CASA-235 reported a motor problem before it disappeared and its wreckage was found on a ranch in the province of César, the air force sad.

Gen. Carlos Bueno, commander of the air force, said an investigation was underway but offered no clues as to what caused to the motor failure.

Local media said the aircraft was struck by a lightning bolt after taking off on an intelligence collection mission from a base hundreds of miles away in Puerto Salgar.

President Juan Manuel Santos sent a Twitter message expressing condolences for the "heroes" who lost their life.

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Among the dead were four air force officers, the highest-ranking of whom was Maj. Adalberto Lombana.

"My heart is heavy with pain for the loss of these heroes who in fulfillment of their constitutional mandate have now flown much higher to join the heavenly squadron alongside the almighty," Bueno said in brief remarks.

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