Page last updated at 23:59 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 00:59 UK

Dozens die in Sudan jet inferno


Plane on fire at Khartoum airport

At least 28 people are known to have died when a passenger plane burst into flames after landing at Khartoum airport in Sudan, medics say.

Another 53 people are also missing following the accident in the Sudanese capital, although 123 people survived.

The Airbus A310 with more than 200 people on board landed in bad weather and was taxi-ing on the runway when an engine caught fire, officials say.

The Sudan Airways flight had flown from Jordan's capital Amman via Damascus.

TV footage showed the wreckage consumed by flames as emergency crews tried to fight the fire in the darkness.

'Wing explosion'

Sudanese officials say the plane had tried to land at Khartoum earlier on Tuesday, but was unable to do so because of a sandstorm and heavy rain, the BBC's Amber Henshaw in Khartoum reports.

The plane was diverted to the Red Sea city of Port Sudan.

There was an explosion in one of the engines and the plane caught fire
Yusuf Ibrahim
Khartoum airport's director

It later returned to Khartoum, landing at approximately 2000 (1700 GMT), our correspondent says.

The director of Khartoum's airport, Yusuf Ibrahim, told Sudanese national television that the plane had landed "safely" and the pilots were in contact with the control tower about which gate to dock at when the fire occurred.

"There was an explosion in one of the engines and the plane caught fire," Mr Ibrahim said.

Abbas al-Fadini, a member of Sudan's parliament who was on the plane, told al-Jazeera television that the fire started in the right engine before spreading throughout the plane.


He said crew members had guided people towards the plane's exits.

It was not immediately known what caused the blaze.

One survivor said he had escaped uninjured.

"The survivors are being brought to the hospital by the police and they are being looked after well at the hospital," the man told Sudanese television.

Witnesses said they had seen some passengers escaping via emergency chutes after they deployed.

Sudan Airways operates a fleet of Airbus A300 and A310 jets.

Air disasters timeline
30 Nov 07 |  Special Reports
Timeline: Sudan
04 Jun 08 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Sudan
04 Jun 08 |  Country profiles

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