Image: Mexican firefighter
Stringer/Mexico  /  Reuters
A firefighter walks past burning cars after a cargo plane crashed into them in Mexico's state of Sinaloa on Thursday.
updated 7/5/2007 9:09:47 PM ET 2007-07-06T01:09:47

A small cargo jet failed to take off and barreled onto an adjacent highway, killing at least nine people, including two soldiers assigned to the Mexican president's security detail.

The plane blew a tire and slid off the runway at the airport in the western coastal city of Culiacan, the federal Communications and Transportation Department said in a news release.

The crash happened shortly before President Felipe Calderon was scheduled to arrive for a daylong visit, killing two members of his security detail who were patrolling the highway in an army vehicle, the president's office confirmed.

Also killed were three people on board the aircraft and a family of four, including a child, whose car was engulfed in a trail of fire left by the jet, said Mario Millan, spokesman for the Sinaloa state public safety department.

The jet, belonging to Mexican shipping company Jett Paqueteria SA, came to a stop after hitting a building, Millan said.

Calderon was en route to Culiacan at the time of the crash and was turned back, his office said.

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