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Comoros 'knew' about plane faults, says Kouchner

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-07-02

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has refuted Comoran Vice-President Idi Nadhoim's claims that France had failed to inform Comoros of a ban on the Yemenia Airbus A310 which crashed off the Indian Ocean archipelago on Tuesday.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner responded Wednesday to criticisms levelled by the Comoran vice-president and transport minister, Idi Nadhoim, that Paris had failed to inform Comoros on the record of the Yemenia Airbus A310 that crashed Tuesday.


"The plane was banned from flying to our country, everybody knew it," said Kouchner during a visit to Senegal. "Everybody knew it in the Comoros, everybody."


Soon after the fatal accident, France pointed a finger at “irregularities” found on that particular Yemenia airplane, which has been banned from French airspace since 2007.


"It would have been easier for us if France had communicated to us the list of Airbus planes that are not good to fly, which is not the case," Nadhoim had said during an interview with FRANCE 24 on Wednesday.


But Kouchner responded saying, “this is not a question of revenge, this is not a question of responsibility. Sixty-six French are dead and many Comorans, many more still, and I express to all the families my profound sadness”.


The search for survivors from Yemenia flight 626 that crashed on Tuesday with 153 people on board continued Wednesday with the help of several countries, without success.


At the moment, the sole survivor of the tragedy is an adolescent, Bahia Bakari, 12. She arrived in Paris on Thursday morning, where she will receive medical care.


Date created : 2009-07-02