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Romania: official fired over plane rescue

World

Bucharest - Romania's prime minister has dismissed a government official and called for two other senior officials to be fired after it took hours to locate a crashed plane on a mountain. Two people died waiting for medical help.

Victor Ponta said on Wednesday there were “inacceptable deficiencies” in the rescue operation. He fired an interior ministry chief and called for the air traffic control chief and head of the elite communications service -not under his authority - to be removed.

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Romanian agriculture minister Daniel Constantin, right, and Romanian premier Victor Ponta attend a press conference at the ministry headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. The two officials have strongly denied any wrongdoing on Romanian territory in Europe's horsemeat scandal following checks over the weekend at two suspected slaughter houses. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Local residents located the stricken plane 4½ hours after it crashed, but medical teams arrived much later, provoking public anger.

The plane was transporting medics from Bucharest to western Romania to harvest organs for transplant when it came down Monday. All seven on board initially survived the landing.

Sapa-AP

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