33 people killed in Mozambican plane crash

33 people killed in Mozambican plane crash
# 01 December 2013 00:17 (UTC +04:00)

No survivors were reported in Friday's accident. Among the victims were six crew members and 27 passengers including a Chinese national, a French, a Brazilian, five Portuguese, nine Angolans and 10 Mozambicans.

The airline said the Brazilian-made Embraer 190 did not land as scheduled at 1310 GMT in the Angolan capital Luanda, after it took off from Maputo at 0926 GMT.

Namibian Police Deputy Commissioner of the Zambezi Region, Bollen Sankwasa confirmed to Namibia Press Agency on Saturday that the plane crashed in the Bwabwata National Park, and sadly there were no survivors.

According to Chinese Ambassador in Mozambique Li Chunhua, the Chinese victim was a 30-year-old man, who came from China's Zhejiang province and was residing in Angola. Ambassador Li is heading a special team for close contact with authorities and for issues related to the accident.

The chief executive official of the airline, Marlene Mendes Manave, told a press conference in Maputo that the aircraft last contacted the ground aviation tower in Namibia at 1:15 p.m. local time Friday before it went missing.

A Namibian journalist told Xinhua that the passenger aircraft crashed in Bwabwata national park in Zambezi region of northeastern Namibia between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday and no survivor could be seen.

Local media said the plane burned to ashes. Xinhua learned from a local witness who was on the scene on Saturday that the place was very remote and uninhabited, and police had to use helicopters to locate the crash. Bodies were "all over the place," and signs of deterioration can be seen on them because of the heat of the sun, according to the witness.

A local police commissioner, who is on the way to the crash site, can not be reached by phone. However, police will brief the media about the crash later Saturday, according to a journalist based in northern Namibia.

The airline, of which the state has a controlling stake, has a small fleet composed of mainly Brazilian-made aircraft. The crashed Embraer 190 aircraft can accommodate up to 93 passengers.

The Mozambique Airlines operates international routes to South Africa, Tanzania, Angola, Zimbabwe and Kenya. The European Union has banned the airline from flying into Europe airspace out of safety concerns despite its clean safety record before Friday's crash.