updated 8/22/2004 3:31:04 PM ET 2004-08-22T19:31:04

A military plane crashed into a mountain in central Venezuela, killing 25 people, including five children, an air force rescue team said in a statement Sunday.

The SD3-30 two-engine passenger and cargo plane took off from a military base in Orchila Island, 110 miles north of Caracas on Saturday afternoon, and was headed to an air force base in Maracay, 40 miles west of Caracas, said the statement.

All 25 people on board were confirmed dead, including three crew members and 22 passengers, including military personnel and 10 civilians. A five-year-old boy, another boy and three girls, whose ages were not disclosed, died in the accident.

The plane was found around midnight Saturday. It was off course by some 18 miles when it crashed into an uninhabited mountain area in Carabobo state, 60 miles west of Caracas, according to the statement.

President Hugo Chavez expressed his condolences during his weekly television and radio show Sunday.

“I am very sorry,” said Chavez, a former paratrooper.

Officials did not say what caused the accident.

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