LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The National Transportation Safety Board today said it would help Mexican authorities investigate the crash of a Learjet believed to have been carrying Mexican “banda” singer Jenni Rivera — a Long Beach native and often-time Los Angeles resident.
“We’re going to provide technical assistance,” said Terry Williams of the NTSB. “It’s not our investigation.”
The airplane disappeared from radar near Monterrey in northern Mexico on Sunday, and no survivors were found in the wreckage, a Monterrey television affiliate reported.
Rivera, 43, was a Long Beach native whose records dominated the “banda” style of regional Mexican music popular in California and northwestern Mexico. She was one of the biggest stars on Mexico television and popular on “regional Mexican” stations in California.
Searchers late Sunday found wreckage, but no survivors, near Iturbide, Nuevo Leon, according to the city’s mayor, who was quoted on the Televisa station in Monterrey. Iturbide is 60 miles from Monterrey.
The plane was owned by a Las Vegas company, Starlight Management, and it had departed earlier from Houston, according to an internet flight tracking service. It crashed after leaving Monterrey after a concert at 3:15 a.m. while headed to an airport near Mexico City.
“Everything suggests, with the evidence that’s been found, that it was the airplane that the singer Jenni Rivera was traveling in,” Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, Mexico’s secretary of communications and transportation, said in remarks quoted by the Los Angeles Times.
Of the crash site, Ruiz said: “Everything is destroyed. Nothing is recognizable.” Two pilots and six other people were on board, according to The Times.
The news hit Southland Rivera fans hard.
“She was a great singer, a great mother,” Jovana Ramirez told ABC7 outside Rivera’s Encino estate. “Everything for her was just fantastic.”
Young fan Briana Camacho remembered Rivera to ABC7 as funny and “a person not just famous, but she’s normal, like other people.”
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