EGYPT: A plane belonging to the peacekeeping force stationed along Egyptian-Israeli border crashes in the Sinai peninsula killing nine peopleRecord ID: 382073
- Title: EGYPT: A plane belonging to the peacekeeping force stationed along Egyptian-Israeli border crashes in the Sinai peninsula killing nine people
- Date: 7th May 2007
- Summary: (BN11) SHARM EL-SHEIKH, EGYPT (MAY 6, 2007) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PLANE WRECKAGE PLANE WRECKAGE CLOSE UP
- Reuters ID: LVADKJ6R3Y0G6FUNSQVUSTI015XJ
- Location: Egypt
- Country: Egypt
- Duration: 00:00:20
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Defence / Military
- Story Text: A plane belonging to the peacekeeping force stationed along the Egyptian-Israeli border crashed on Sunday (May 6) in the Sinai peninsula, killing eight French soldiers and a Canadian, according to Egyptian security sources.
The sources said the aircraft hit a truck while trying to make an emergency landing on a Sinai road, but managed briefly to regain altitude before finally crashing and exploding.
Security sources said they believed the crash of the twin-engined propeller plane was caused by mechanical problems, although the plane's black box had not yet been recovered. Foul play was not suspected.
The remains of five people were found in the wreckage, and a search was under way for remains of four other passengers recorded as having boarded the plane, Egyptian aviation and security sources said. The French defence ministry said eight French and one Canadian soldier had died.
Egyptian state news agency MENA said the pilot had called in to report a problem with one of the aircraft's engines before contact was lost.
The plane had been on a training and orientation mission, the director-general of the Multinational Force and Observers Mission in Sinai, Normand St. Pierre, told Reuters.
The Egyptian driver of the truck jumped from his vehicle as the plane hit it, and was believed to have survived although his truck caught fire and burned, security sources said. They said they were convinced all on the plane had died.
The driver of a truck in front of the one that had been hit, Bilal Shehata, said that he had turned to avoid the plane just in time.
"We were going to Nuweiba and suddenly we found the plane right behind us and it was flying very low as it was about to touch land," Shehata told Reuters.
"I turned my truck to the right and it crashed with its wings into the rear lorry. All of the truck went up in flames. We began to shout and after that we were investigated by the police and emergency forces," he said.
The French Twin Otter plane had been heading from El-Gorah in northern Sinai, site of the observer force's main base, to Saint Catherine in the south when it crashed near al-Nakhel in central Sinai.
The crash was the second fatal transport accident this year involving members of the Sinai observer force, which has also been an occasional target for Islamist militants.
The observer force, set up to supervise security provisions in the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, has contingents from 11 countries.
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