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Sudan Airway Airbus crashes at Khartoum airport

June 10, 2008 (KHARTOUM) – The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that a Sudan Airways plane crashed at the end of its flight number 109 from Amman via Damascus at Khartoum Airport.

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A Sudanese airliner burns at Khartoum airport in this image taken off video footage by the Sudan TV June 10, 2008. (Reuters)

The Airbus carried 203 passengers and 11 craw members, the CAA said on Tuesday evening.

The Sudanese authorities said they are unable to provide the exact number of the human causalities and a head counting operation is going on. However the CAA said in a statement that more than one hundred passengers are save.

It also published a list including the names of rescued passengers.

The Airbus landed normally but Front-wheel of the plane exploded and it veered off the runway and then burst into flames. The airplane’s fuel caused the explosion of the crashed plane, passengers said.

The crashed plane had already tried to land at Khartoum Airport but due to the rains and poor weather the Airbus landed at Port Sudan and then resumed its flight to Khartoum.

The plane was full of passengers who received medical treatment in the capital of Jordan Amman where Sudanese go for treatment. Many rescued passengers said elders and children remained in the plane because they were unable to move.

Around one hundred passengers were killed following the incident. However, there are conflicting reports about the exact figure of the causalities. The CAA said it would release later the exact number and names of the crash victims.

This is the second incident for the national carrier. On July 8, 2003 a Sudan Airways Boeing 737 crashed near Port Sudan killing 115 people after reporting technical problems, leaving a two-year-old boy as the sole survivor.

In recent years, there have been no major civil airline disasters in Sudan, but a number of military planes have crashed.

A sandstorm was blamed for an accident in April 2002 that killed 14 senior officers, including the deputy defense minister who directed the war against rebels in southern Sudan.

In Upper Nile State in February 1998, a military plane crash killed the first vice president, General al-Zubair Mohammed Saleh, and 25 other people. The accident occurred at the airport at Nassir, in the southern part of the state, when the plane missed an emergency landing.

In June 1999, 50 people, including six officers, died when a military plane crashed as a result of an unspecified technical problem in the eastern state of Kassala, near Ethiopia, the authorities said.

On July 30, 2005 a Ugandan presidential helicopter transporting the former First Vice-President John Garang crashed while he was on his way to southern Sudan from Uganda after paying a visit to President Yoweri Museveni.

On May 2, 2008, a Beech 1900 came down near Rumbek killing everyone on board including South Sudan army minister Dominic Dim Deng and Justin Yac Arop, GoSS presidential Adviser for Decentralization.

(ST)