A Colombian Air-Force ECN235 special-mission aircraft plane crashed on Friday in the north of the country, killing all 11 of those on board. The twin-engined transport plane came down in a rural area near the town of Codazzi, in Cesar province, having reported engine difficulties. Colombian media reported that local residents said the plane had been struck by lightning. An investigation into the cause of the crash has been ordered, says the commander of Colombia’s air force, Gen Carlos Bueno.

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos described the victims as heroes. All of those killed were members of the Colombian air force.

The CN235 is manufactured by Airbus; the plane was produced in 1998 in Seville, Spain and was one of several aircraft converted to carry out Electronic Warfare missions (thus re-designated ECN-235). The disaster comes almost three months after a new Airbus A400M military transport plane crashed during a test flight in Spain, killing three people. That mishape was attributed to human errors related to engine control software issues.

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