Mexican singing star Jenni Rivera, who was looking forward to crossing over to a broader audience with an English-language album, has been killed in a small plane crash in Mexico.
Mexican authorities reported finding the wreckage of a Learjet 25 in Nuevo Leon state. There were no survivors on board.
Both Univision and The Associated Press have confirmed her death.
Transportation and communication minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said “everything points toward it being the plane,” according to local Mexican television report. The 43-year-old singer and six others had boarded a plane for a flight to Mexico City around 3:30 a.m.
Aviation authorities said the craft vanished from radar about 10 minutes later after taking off for Toluca, outside Mexico City. The flight would have taken about an hour. The plane lost contact with controllers about 60 miles after it took off, according to CNN.
The aircraft was destroyed, totally fragmented,” Alejandro Argudin, director general of Civil Aviation, told CNN affiliate Televisa.
The Learjet 25 holds two crew and up to eight passengers. It’s powered by twin jet engines mounted near the tail and is considered a high-speed business jet, according to the manufacturer. It was developed in the 1960s and first flew in 1967.
The plane would have been loaded to near capacity, if reports are true. Extra baggage could have put it near, or over, its operational weight. The plane is considered challenging to fly, compared with newer business jets. It’s average load is five passengers, plus two crew.
Rivera, 43, was best known for banda and norteña music, which is specific to Mexico. She had released 14 studio albums specific to that market.
Rivera had just closed a deal to star in her own sitcom for ABC, titled “Jenni,” according to deadline.com. It was about a single Latina woman struggling to balance family life, a business and relatives.
Rivera married to baseball player Esteban Loaiza in 2010, but had filed for divorce in October, citing irreconcilable differences.
Although she’s best known in Mexico and parts of the American Southwest, Rivera was born in Long Beach, Calif. to Mexican immigrants. She leaves five children, the first of whom she gave birth to at 15.