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Last Updated: Monday, 7 May 2007, 17:44 GMT 18:44 UK
'No survivors' in Cameroon crash
Rescuers at the crash site in Mbanga Pongo, Cameroon
The crash site is in dense and hard-to-access mangrove forest
Rescue workers in Cameroon say there are no signs of any survivors from the Kenya Airways plane that crashed and was found in a mangrove swamp.

They say they could see many bodies partly buried in the mud of the swamp. The Boeing 737-800 was carrying 114 people from at least 23 countries.

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

The wreckage was found some 36 hours after vanishing from radar screens.

A Cameroonian official in charge of the recovery effort at the scene, some 20km south-west of Douala, said he had surveyed the entire site and no one had survived.

"There are no chances of finding any (survivors) under the circumstances," Luc Ndjodo said. "There is a crater filled with water and a clearing, then buried in the mud there are scattered plane parts and debris," he told AP news agency.

International aid

A team from the US National Transportation Safety Board is due to arrive at the scene, with French and US investigators already conducting aerial searches, US embassy officials said.

They will also assist with forensics and the recovery of bodies.

Cameroon map

The International Red Cross is leading the search and recovery mission, alongside the Cameroonian government and military paramedics.

On Monday, investigators battled through dense mangrove swamps to reach the wreckage, after parts of the jet were discovered late on Sunday.

Locals made the grim find 20km (12 miles) south-east of Douala.

"I saw one body and one arm. We also saw some seats and a piece of plane about the size of a car door," Guiffo Gande told reporters in Mbanga Pongo village.

Cameroon's government is yet to make a statement on the disaster.

The minister for interior affairs is meeting Kenya's transport and communication minister, Kenya Airways officials and Kenyan government aviation investigators.

Good record

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

NATIONALITIES OF MISSING
35 Cameroon
15 India
9 Kenya (crew)
7 South Africa
6 China
6 Ivory Coast
6 Nigeria
5 Britain
3 Niger
2 Central African Republic
2 Democratic Republic of Congo
2 Equatorial Guinea
1 Ghana; Sweden; Togo; Mali; Switzerland; Comoros; Egypt; Mauritius; Senegal; Congo; Tanzania; US; Burkina Faso
3 unidentified
Source: Kenya Airways

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, said Kenya Airways CEO Titus Naikuni.

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

With the site inaccessible to vehicles, the recovery of bodies and investigation will be a difficult and slow process, says the BBC's Noel Mwakugu in Doula.

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

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




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Rescue workers at the crash site



SEE ALSO
Grief and confusion in Kenya
07 May 07 |  Africa
In pictures: Cameroon crash scene
07 May 07 |  In Pictures
Cameroon air crash site located
06 May 07 |  Africa
Air disasters timeline
05 May 07 |  Europe



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