- Title: SUDAN: At least 33 killed in Sudanese airliner blaze in Khartoum
- Date: 11th June 2008
- Summary: (W5) KHARTOUM, SUDAN (JUNE 10, 2008) (REUTERS) AMBULANCE LEAVING VARIOUS: MORE OF PLANE BURNING ON TARMAC (5 SHOTS) AMBULANCE DRIVING AWAY FROM AIRPORT
- Reuters ID: LVAF02UC6K3NSRBI6DQIJN5X7F16
- Location: Sudan
- Country: Sudan
- Duration: 00:00:32
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Transport
- Story Text: Sudanese airliner bursts into flames after landing in Khartoum during a dust storm, killing at least 28 of the 217 people on board, officials say.
A Sudanese airliner burst into flames after landing in Khartoum overnight during a dust storm, killing at least 28 of the 217 people on board, officials said on Wednesday (June 11).
Khartoum airport's head of medical services, Major-General Mohamed Osman Mahjoub, said authorities had so far established there were 123 survivors but 66 people were unaccounted for. The plane's emergency chutes enabled the survivors to escape.
Twenty-eight bodies had been taken to a nearby mortuary, said Mahjoub, adding that some of the 66 people unaccounted for might have survived and left the airport during the confusion after the plane fire broke out on Tuesday night.
The nationalities of the dead were not immediately known.
The Sudan Airways plane, identified by Sudanese television only as an Airbus without any model details, was carrying 203 passengers and 14 crew on a flight from Jordan's capital Amman.
A Sudanese airliner coming from Amman and Damascus burst into flames after landing in Khartoum on Tuesday (June 10) night, killing at least 33 of the 217 people on board, officials and witnesses said on Wednesday.
Doctors and officials said the local mortuary had received 28 bodies by 3 a.m. on Wednesday (midnight GMT) and witnesses said they saw rescue teams remove five more bodies from the charred wreckage of the plane after daybreak.
The Civil Aviation Authority said it had counted 113 survivors but that other people had left the site of the incident and gone straight home without informing the authorities.
Presidential adviser Ghazi Salahaddin said that 50 to 60 people were unaccounted for. In the confusion during the night other officials gave contradictory figures.
The nationalities of the dead were not immediately known but diplomats who have examined the manifest said that almost all the names appear to be Arabic. Airport officials said they thought the vast majority were Sudanese.
The Sudan Airways plane, identified by Sudanese television only as an Airbus without any model details, was carrying 203 passengers and 14 crew on the flight from the Jordanian capital.
A dust storm and heavy rain hit the airport on Tuesday and the plane was initially diverted to Port Sudan on the Red Sea.
The Executive Director of Sudan Airways, Jamal Osman, said adverse weather conditions appeared to be responsible.
"We put the cause of the crash down to the bad weather conditions and the plane sliding off the runway. Thankfully, there was a fast response to the accident and to removing as many passengers as possible. So, the majority of those removed from the aircraft are in good health," Osman told Sudan Television.
A survivor, Al Haj Bashir, said the landing in Khartoum was "not normal" and that there was "an explosion in the right wing" two or three minutes after the plane landed.
At its height the fire appeared to be consuming the fuselage and cockpit area. The emergency crews eventually managed to extinguish the blaze.
Many of the injured survivors were taken to the police hospital in Khartoum.
"Thankfully I'm fine and nothing really happened to me and I thank God that we managed to get a lot of people out and there aren't many injured," said one woman, as she lay on a stretcher with her head in a neck-brace.
A spokesman for Sudan's civil aviation authorities said the pilot was slightly injured and that all but one of the crew had been found alive.
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