At least 11 of the 35 passengers aboard a Sudanese plane that crashed while landing Thursday in the country's western Darfur region have survived, according to an official with the UN and African Union peacekeeping mission in the area.
AFP - A plane crash in Sudan's western Darfur region on Thursday killed some of the 35 passengers on board, but many people escaped alive, officials said.
Civil aviation spokesman Abdel Hafiz Abdel Rahim said the aircraft had "35 people on board" when it went down in the city of Zalingei and that "about 90 percent of the passengers have survived."
An official with the United Nations and African Union peacekeeping mission in the war-torn region of Darfur confirmed the crash and said at least 11 people had survived.
West Darfur governor Abdel Hakim Jaafar Asam Ishaq said the plane belonging to a local company, Tabco, burst into flames as it landed at Zalingei's airport.
"There were survivors, injured and dead," he said, adding he could not yet provide an accurate breakdown of the casualty numbers.
Accidents are common among Sudan's ageing fleet of aircraft, with four crashes in May and June 2008 leading to the dismissal of the country's aviation chief.
Authorities in Africa's largest country have stepped up safety measures since the June accident, when a Sudan Airways plane caught fire on a runway, killing 30 people.
Several companies have been banned by the government because of their poor track records in safety.
Darfur is the site of a seven-year war between minority rebels and the government which is estimated by the United Nations to have killed about 300,000 people.
Date created : 2010-11-11