"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

11.12.2009

air crash in Kigali

From the excellent reporting team at Uganda Talks:
There are reports coming in that a JetLink flight has crashed at the Kigali Airport shortly after takeoff. The plane was bound for Nairobi. The plane reported mechanical problems shortly after takeoff, turned around and crash landed, hitting the VIP lounge causing damage both to the lounge and the plane.

Unknown number of casualties. Ambulances are on site.

Update 1:

The plane was a 50-seater Canadian jet, model 100crj, leased by JetLink to Rwanda Air. After some conflicting reports we have verified that the plane was heading for Entebbe.

According to Ephraim Kamonjo, a representative from Jetlink, the plane crashed, nose-first, into the pavilion of the VIP lounge, while taxiing to the runway.

The pilot and co-pilot, and some people in the VIP lounge have been reportedly injured.
I've taken that flight. More than once. If you're not an aid worker (which means you can't fly with the Red Cross or the humanitarian airlines) and can't fly MONUC because of an inflexible, heartless bureaucrat who refuses to give scholars MOP's even though MONUC in Kinshasa says it's FINE, RwandAir Express is one of the only ways to get to Entebbe from the region. (The alternative is TMK's commercial service, which puddle jumps through a series of radar-lacking airports in foggy mountains and valleys up the eastern edge of the DRC.)

RwandAir Express always provided excellent service when I flew with them. Their staff are courteous and super-professional, and, unlike the vast majority of flights in the region, they generally depart and arrive on time. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this situation.

UPDATE: Uganda's New Vision has a detailed story on the crash. I'm sure there will be more information come morning in central Africa.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Local radio is reporting the same version of events -- emergency landing, the plane lurched as people disembarked, and rammed the VIP wing of the airport. The New Times is also reporting at least one other person was killed when he was hit by the ambulance rushing the pilots to the hospital. Sad.

Friday, November 13, 2009 1:32:00 AM

 
Anonymous Matt said...

"After they had landed and arranged to disembark, the plane started moving, Mubiru said."

Is this is a simple case of someone not applying the parking break? That makes it even more sad.

Friday, November 13, 2009 4:26:00 AM

 
Blogger texasinafrica said...

Thanks for the updates & thoughts. If the pilot could only stop by hitting a building, then maybe the brake wasn't working? If that was the case, it was really smart of the pilot to hit the VIP lounge side rather than the general passenger side - those are the only two options given the setup of the airport and its taxi areas. Many viewer people who could be hit in the VIP area, although of course it's terrible regardless.

Friday, November 13, 2009 8:01:00 AM

 
Blogger texasinafrica said...

"fewer" not "viewer"

Friday, November 13, 2009 8:01:00 AM

 
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Thursday, November 19, 2009 5:14:00 AM

 
Blogger wereuse said...

I understand this is a Russian plane flown by a Russian pilot who was surprised this did not burst into flames. The woman co-pilot who could not be taken out for 36 hours died. May her Soul rest in peace.

The brakes worked and that is how the plane slowed down a bit. The tires burst on landing due to the high speed. The engine locked up and would not slow down, or shut down and that was the problem.

This is a miracle and every one needs to thank God that casualties were so few. I spoke with a survivor and still have chills down my spine thinking of what every one went through....

Alan L. Krishnan, Washington DC

Monday, December 28, 2009 10:20:00 AM

 

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