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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 May 2007, 20:24 GMT 21:24 UK
Cameroon air crash site located
Concerned relatives arrive at Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
Worried friends and relatives have been waiting for news
Searchers in southern Cameroon have found the wreckage of a Kenya Airways plane that went missing on Saturday, officials have confirmed.

The plane, which originated in Ivory Coast, came down after taking off in heavy rain from Douala en route to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

The Boeing 737-800 was carrying 114 people from more than 20 countries.

It was found in mangroves close to the airport in Douala, officials said. There was no information on survivors.

"Kenya Airways regrets to confirm that its flight KQ 507 has been located on a mangrove swamp 20km (12 miles) south of Douala," CEO Titus Naikuni told a news conference in Nairobi.

He said the reason the aircraft was not found earlier was because it was covered with trees.

Rescue workers were at the site, he said, but there was "no confirmed information about survivors or any possible casualties".

Cameroon's Minister of State for Territorial Administration, Hamidou Yaya Marafa, said that access to the site was very difficult.

Good record

Flight KQ 507 left Douala at 0005 on Saturday (2305 GMT Friday) and was due in Kenya at 0615 (0315 GMT).

Map

It sent a communication to the control tower in Douala shortly after take-off and later issued an automatic distress signal, Kenya Airways said.

Search efforts initially focused on dense jungle under the plane's intended flight path from Douala and then on a swamp area where fishermen reported hearing noises the night the plane disappeared.

It was the fishermen who led rescuers to the site, Mr Naikuni said.

Officials said it was too early determine what caused the crash.

The aircraft was just six months old and part of a new fleet bought by the airline, which has a good safety record.

But in January 2000, one of its planes crashed into the sea after taking off from Abidjan, killing 169 passengers. Ten people survived.




SEE ALSO
Air disasters timeline
07 Mar 07 |  Europe
Country profile: Kenya
15 Mar 07 |  Country profiles

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