30 November 2013

Namibia: Black Box of Moz Plane Still Missing

Photo: Xinhua
The crash site of a Mozambican plane at the Bwabwata National Park in north-east Namibia.

Captain Ericksson Nengola, Namibia's director of aircraft accidents investigations in the ministry of transport, said they are still searching for the two black boxes. They have so far found one voice recorder and an emergency location transmitter.

He said Namibia will investigations into the crash and will rope in experts from the USA because the plane's engine was made there, Brazil, since it was manufactured there and aviation authorities from Angola, Mozambique and Botswana.

"We do not know what caused the accident. This is a major investigation and worse ever accident after Namibia's independence [1990]. I do not know how long it will take. It might take months," he said.

The nationalities of the 27 passengers who were on board were; Mozambique (10), Angola (9), Portugal (5), France (1) Brazil (1) and China (1).

Meanwhile, Mozambique's government has declared a period of national mourning to honour the 33 victims of country's worst aviation disaster since 1986.

Mozambique transport minister, Gabriel Muthisse told BBC the airline (Mozambique Airlines) has excellent safety standards and that a commission has been set up to investigate causes of LAM crash in Namibia.

The Namibian Police coordinator in the Kavango Region, Willie Bampton, earlier today confirmed that they have found the burnt wreckage of the missing Mazambican plane. There were no survivors.

Flight TM470 took off from Maputo early yesterday and was due to land in the Angolan capital, Luanda, at 13H10 GMT on Friday, but never arrived.

Bampton confirmed that they were informed by officials in Botswana that they saw smoke in the air and heard explosions yesterday afternoon. The police is now searching in the Bwabwata National Park where the plane is said to have crashed.

Bampton, who is part of the search team in the Bwabwata National Park, said the area is inaccessible and the rain that fell yesterday in the area is not making it easier for them.

"We are still searching. There are no proper roads, you have to go through the bush, slowly and its making our job difficult," he said. Bampton said the Namibian police were first informed about the incident around 15h00 by officials from Botswana who initially thought the plane crashed in their country.

One of Mozambique plane victims was radio personality Sakyna Cassamo. Fans have left messages of condolence on her Facebook page.

Additional reporting: AFP

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