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07.05.2007 Cameroon

'No survivors' in Cameroon crash

By myjoyonline

A Kenya Airways plane that crashed in Cameroon on Saturday has been found submerged in a swamp and authorities say there is no chance of any survivors.

The Boeing 737-800 was carrying 114 people, including a Ghanaian.
It is believed nationals from at least 23 countries were on board the plane.

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

The wreckage of the six-month-old jet was found more than 36 hours after vanishing from radar screens.

"There are no chances that there will be any survivors because almost the entire body of the plane was buried inside the swamp," Jean-Pierre Nana, director of Cameroon's civil protection department, told Reuters.

On Monday, rescuers 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," resident Guiffo Gande told reporters in Mbanga Pongo village.

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

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 to 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.

Credit: BBC