Kenya: The wreckage of the Kenya Airways plane was found in a mangrove swamp about 20 km southeast of Douala, Cameroon.
The Boeing 737-800, carrying 105 passengers and nine crew, disappeared on a flight between Douala and the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on May 5. It was found along its planned flight route.
“At this time, search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible casualties,” the airline said in an e-mailed statement late yesterday.
The plane, which stopped over at Douala on its way from Ivory Coast’s Abidjan, disappeared after take-off just after midnight on May 5. It was scheduled to arrive in Nairobi at 6:15 a.m. Kenyan time. Cameroon’s civil aviation authority picked up a distress signal from the airplane and sent a rescue team at 11:05 a.m. that day.
Fishermen in Cameroon reported hearing a loud bang that was accompanied by significant water disturbance, Kenya Airways said in a statement yesterday. Cameroon’s meteorology department forecast poor weather, including rain, before the takeoff from Douala, Etienne Ondoua, the department’s director, told Cameroon Radio on May 5.
MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest mobile phone company, said four of its workers, including the head of its Cameroonian unit, were on the flight.
The Chief Executive Officer of the unit, Campbell Utton, its Chief Financial Officer, Sarah Stewart, Company Secretary, Patrick Njamfa and network engineer, Patrice Enam, were on board, Johannesburg-based MTN said in an e-mailed statement. Stewart’s husband, Adam James Stewart, was also on the aircraft.
Passengers included 34 Cameroonians, 15 Indians, 9 Kenyans, 7 South Africans, 6 Nigerians, 5 Britons and one U.S. national, said Titus Naikuni, managing director of Kenya Airways. There also was one passenger each from Burkina Faso, Egypt, Mauritius, Sweden, Switzerland and Tanzania.
Enquiries about flight KQ 507 can be directed to an international passenger information center at +27-11-207-1100, Kenya Airways said.