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Airbus A310

Airbus A310

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Breaking NewsBodies, debris from Yemeni flight found off ComorosUpdated June 30, 2009 06:14 PMANTANANARIVO� (Xinhua) -- Bodies and debris from a Yemeni flight, which crashed about 8 to 12 km off Comoros early on Tuesday morning, have reportedly been found.

"A research aircraft found some debris of the plane near the supposed area of the sea," a senior official of the Agency for Safety of Air Navigation in Africa and Madagascar Ibrahim Kassim said in Moroni, capital of Comoros.

Reports reaching here said that 153 passengers, including a crew of 11, were on the Airbus A310-300 plane, belonging to Yemani state carrier Yemenia Air, which was on road from Yemen's capital Sanaa to Moroni, the capital of Comoros.

Official reports from Comoros said that 120 of the passengers were Comoros residents returning from France while over 20 of them were French nationals.

However, a French website,, reported that 66 French citizens were on board of the flight.

It quoted the French Secretary of State for Transport, Dominique Bussereau as saying that "Yemenia is not on the blacklist, otherwise it would not have authorization from Roissy," an international airport in Paris.

The Comoros Air Services is on the blacklist of airlines, which have been prohibited for flight from and to European territories.

It was reported that the passengers had embarked on a Yemenia A330 flight from Roissy on Monday and, after a stop in Marseille, continued their journey to Sanaa, where they changed their flight to board the A310, which crashed off Comoros.

The director of the Yemenia airway office in Moroni, Mohammad al Soumairi, said that bad weather might be one of the reasons for the crash of the Airbus A310-300 flight.

"The weather was bad, with strong winds and high seas.

The wind speed at the international airport on Grande Comoros (one of the three islands of the Union of Comoros) was 61 kilometers per hour.

There may be other factors," Soumairi said.

However, the website quoted France Meteo as saying that weather conditions were "not at all bad".

Comorian Defense minister Bourhane Hamid informed the media that army troops and speedboats had been sent to the area, where the plane crashed.

"For now, we do not know if there are any survivors," he said.

According to a United Nations official, who was at the airport control tower, the flight informed the control tower for landing, and then lost contact with it.

This has been the second air crash off Comoros since November 23, 1996, when a hijacked Boeing 767 of the Ethiopian Airlines crashed north off Comoros, killing 125 of the 175 passengers on board.

This is also the second Airbus aircrafts which crashed in one month.

On June 1, a Airbus A 330 plane crashed into the Atlantic sea three and a half hours after it tool off from Rio de Janeiro, killing all of the 228 people on board, including a crew of 12.

Reports said that the Comorian airports presented certain risks due to proximity of the surrounding peaks and also the backwardness of the airport infrastructure.

On Dec.

27, 2002, a small plane with 16 passengers on board crashed in the process of landing near the airport in Anjouan Ouani, another island of the Union of Comoros, killing one of the passengers and injuring another 3.

Another accident took place at the same airport on April� 9, 2007, when a flight to Mayotte carrying 13 passengers run off the runway when taking off.

Fortunately, no one was killed or injured.

� �
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