TOKYO: Four people were killed when a Cessna aircraft crashed into a snow-covered mountain in central Japan, local police said today.
The single-propeller plane with four people on board plunged into Japan's Northern Alps in Tateyama yesterday, police said.
Police received an emergency call from a man believed to be one of the four people - all men aged from 21 to 57 - on board the small plane, they said.
"Two people, including the captain, are unconscious and the remaining two others are stuck but conscious," a Toyama prefectural official had told AFP yesterday after they received the distress call.
But bad weather and thick fog hampered rescue efforts and prevented emergency workers, including a rescue helicopter, from locating the aircraft, police said.
It was fourteen hours after the distress call when rescuers finally spotted the aircraft on the snowy mountain slope at a height of about 2,300 metres (7,545 feet), police and reports said.
The four men were then taken to hospital where they were confirmed dead, police said.