Plane crash in Croatia kills three Dutch nationals, ministry says

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Three Dutch nationals died when their light aircraft crashed in a mountainous region of northwestern Croatia, the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs said on Sunday.

The crash happened at about noon local time on Saturday in a forest near the town of Ogulin, Croatian air investigators said, after a Dutch-registered aircraft disappeared from radar on a flight from Maribor in Slovenia to Pula on Croatia's Adriatic coast.

Chief air inspector Danko Petrin told reporters that all the occupants of the plane were killed and the wreck of the aircraft had been damaged by fire.

"We shall need DNA analysis because the accident location is such that we could not visually determine the exact number of people," Petrin said, adding that two people were registered as passengers along with the pilot.

Dutch foreign ministry spokeswoman Felicia Bakker told Reuters that three Dutch nationals were killed in the crash.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known, but an investigation had been launched, Croatian investigators said.

The crash site is hard to reach, and according to the Dutch ministry is in an area known for potentially having landmines.

(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg and Daria Sito-Sucic in Sarajevo, Editing by William Maclean)