An Airbus A310-300 from Yemen with 153 people on board, including 66 French nationals, crashed into the sea as it approached the Indian Ocean archipelago of Comoros in bad weather early yesterday, officials said.
Some bodies were recovered from the wreck of the Yemenia plane, said Abdul-Rahman Abdul-Qader, undersecretary of Yemen’s aviation authority. He also said a five-year-old child had been rescued from the sea.
The Paris airports authority said 66 French nationals were aboard the plane, which was flying the final leg of a flight taking passengers from Paris and Marseille to Comoros via Yemen. A large number of Comoros nationals were also on board.
Two French military planes and a French ship left the Indian Ocean islands of Mayotte and Reunion to search for the plane.
“The planes have seen debris at the supposed point of impact,” Ibrahim Kassim, an official at the regional air security body ASECNA, told reporters.
It is the second Airbus to plunge into the sea last month, following an Air France Airbus A330-200 that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 228 people on board on June 1. A preliminary report on that crash is due tomorrow.
The Paris-Marseille-Yemen leg of the Yemenia flight was flown by an Airbus A330. In Sanaa, those passengers who were flying on to the Comoros changed onto a second Yemenia plane, the A310 that crashed.
French Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau said faults had been detected during inspections in France in 2007 on the Yemenia A310, and that it had not flown to France since.
“The A310 in question was inspected in 2007 by the DGAC [French transport authorities] and they noticed a certain number of faults,” he told the I-tele TV channel. “The company was not on the black list but was subject to stricter checks on our part, and was due to be interviewed shortly by the European Union’s safety committee.”
French TV showed pictures of friends and relatives of the passengers weeping at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, many of them railing at the airline.
Airbus said it was dispatching a team of investigators to the Comoros. It said the aircraft was built in 1990 and had been used by Yemenia since 1999. Its engines were built by Pratt and Whitney, a unit of United Technologies.
“We still do not have information about the reason behind the crash, or survivors,” Mohammad al-Sumairi, deputy general manager for Yemenia operations, told reporters.
A Yemenia official said there were 142 passengers, including three infants, and 11 crew. The plane was flying to Moroni, capital of Grande Comore, the main island of the archipelago.
“The weather conditions were rough; strong wind and high seas. The wind speed recorded on land at the airport was 61kph. There could be other factors,” Sumairi said.
“We think the crash is somewhere along its landing approach,” Kassim said. “The weather is really not very favorable. The sea is very rough.”
ASECNA — the Agency for Aviation Security and Navigation in Africa and Madagascar — covers Francophone Africa.
The French military said it had sent military and civilian medical teams, boats and divers to the crash site aboard the plane from Reunion. Comoros authorities sent small speedboats to the area.
France and the Comoros have enjoyed close ties since the islands’ independence in 1975. France estimates 200,000 people from Comoros live in mainland France, and remittances from France are an important part of the islands’ economy.
A UN official at Moroni airport, who declined to be named, said the control tower had received notification the plane was coming in to land, and then lost contact with it.
Yemenia is 51 percent owned by Yemen and 49 percent by Saudi Arabia. Its fleet includes two Airbus 330-200s, four Airbus 310-300s and four Boeing 737-800s, according to its Web site.
The Comoros comprises three small volcanic islands, Grande Comore, Anjouan and Moheli, in the Mozambique channel, 300km northwest of Madagascar and a similar distance east of the African mainland.
On the Chinese microblogging platform Sina Weibo, enthusiastic slackers share their tips: Fill up a thermos with whiskey, do planks or stretches in the work pantry at regular intervals, drink liters of water to prompt lots of trips to the toilet on work time, and, once there, spend time on social media or playing games on your phone. “Not working hard is everyone’s basic right,” one commenter wrote. “With or without legal protection, everyone has the right to not work hard.” Young Chinese people are pushing back against an engrained culture of overwork, and embracing a philosophy of laziness known as “touching
‘STUNNED’: With help from an official at the US Department of Justice, Donald Trump reportedly planned to oust the acting attorney general in a bid to overturn the election Former US president Donald Trump was at his Florida resort on Saturday, beginning post-presidency life while US President Joe Biden settled into the White House, but in Washington and beyond, the chaos of the 45th president’s final days in office continued to throw out damaging aftershocks. In yet another earth-shaking report, the New York Times said that Trump plotted with an official at the US Department of Justice to fire the acting attorney general, then force Georgia Republicans to overturn his defeat in that state. Meanwhile, former acting US secretary of defense Christopher Miller made an extraordinary admission, telling Vanity Fair that
The Palauan president-elect has vowed to stand up to Chinese “bullying” in the Pacific, saying that the archipelago nation is set to stand by its alliances with “true friends,” Taiwan and the US. Surangel Whipps Jr, 52, a supermarket owner and two-time senator from a prominent Palauan family, is to be sworn in as the new president tomorrow, succeeding his brother-in-law, Tommy Remengesau Jr. In a forthright interview, Whipps said that the US had demonstrated over the years that it was a reliable friend of Palau, most recently shown by its delivery of 6,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. “It’s important for
Boeing set a target of designing and certifying its jetliners to fly on 100 percent sustainable fuels by 2030, amid rising pressure on planemakers to take climate change seriously. Regulators allow a 50-50 blend of sustainable and conventional fuels, and Boeing on Friday said it would work with authorities to raise the limit. Rival Airbus is considering another tack: a futuristic lineup of hydrogen-powered aircraft that would reach the skies by 2035. The aircraft manufacturers face growing public clamor to cut emissions in the aviation industry, which added more than 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in 2019, according to