- (Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)
The plane carrying music superstar Jenni Rivera hit the ground at a high level of speed, according to news reports on Tuesday.
Rivera, a Mexican-American singer who was popular on Latin Billboard charts, was killed last weekend in a plane crash. The aircraft made a lethal plummet to the ground, diving nose first before being destroyed.
Transportation officials have stated that the plane fell from an estimated 28,000 feet before hitting the ground, according to the Associated Press. It travelled downwards a rate of over 600 miles per hour, the report said.
"The plane practically nose-dived," Secretary of Communications and Transportation Gerardo Ruiz Esparza told Radio Formula. "The impact must have been terrible."
Officials are still working to identify the remains left behind at the scene. Rivera's family has held out hope that the singer may still be alive.
"I still trust God that perhaps the body isn't hers," Juan Saavedra, Rivera's brother, said in a press conference Tuesday, adding that she could have been kidnapped and another woman was at the crash site. "We're hoping it's not true, that perhaps someone took her and left another woman there."
Fragments of the plane are also being collected to discover what might have caused the plane to crash.
"We're in the process of picking up the fragments and we have to find all the parts," Alejandro Argudin, head of Mexico's civil aviation agency, told reporters on Monday. "Depending on weather conditions it would take us at least 10 days to have a first report and many more days to have a report by experts."
The pilot who was flying the plane had a valid Mexican license. Experts have stated that navigating the aircraft could be difficult.
"These aircraft require an awful lot of skill to fly and don't leave a lot of margin for error," Lee Collins, a cargo airline pilot and executive vice president of the Coalition of Airline Pilot Associations in Washington, told the Associated Press. He added that it would not be impossible for the plane to "get into a high-speed dive and inadvertently go through the speed of sound."
Rivera is remembered as "La Diva de la Banda" or "The Diva of the Band" by her fans in both the United States and Mexico. She had several hits before moving on to TV when she filmed a reality show "I Love Jenni," for mun2; it quickly became one of the network's highest rated shows.
"This is the first tragedy of this kind that we suffer as a family," Rivera's father Lupillo told reporters. "I hope people remember her as she was – someone who was straight with the world."