Drug plane crashes at banker's estate, killing 2

/ Source: The Associated Press

Police are investigating a small plane loaded with drugs that crashed Friday at the estate of one of the country's most prominent bankers, killing two people on board, an Interior Ministry representative said.

The plane crashed midday Friday as it tried to land at a private airstrip on the country estate of banker Emilio Botin, Maximo Diaz-Cano said.

The aircraft was carrying 440 pounds of hashish when it missed the airfield and crashed into a nearby gully, Diaz-Cano said. A 25 year-old Spaniard and Moroccan national, 28, were killed, Diaz-Cano said.

A number of vehicles had arrived at the estate, apparently waiting to unload the hashish from the plane, a police spokesman said on condition of anonymity in keeping with force rules. He said one of the drivers, a 22 year-old man, was detained and that others may have escaped.

Police combed the area in search of other people who might have been involved in the suspected smuggling. The 27,000-acre estate was 140 miles southwest of Madrid.

Botin is president of Banco Santander Central Hispano, Spain's largest bank by market capitalization.