THREE people were burnt beyond recognition when a Fokker F-27 MK- 500 aircraft crashed in Serengeti National Park on Sunday, a few minutes after it took-off at Mwanza Airport.
Acting Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) Director General Charles Chacha confirmed the crash, which involved the Safari Express Limited aircraft, bearing registration 5Y-SXP that was travelling from Mwanza to Nairobi.
The remains of the aircraft, with the registration number 5Y-SXP, was sighted by the search-and-rescue team yesterday morning at the world-famous wildlife reserve, about 15 miles from the Kenya-Tanzania border.
According to available information, the plane took off from the Mwanza Airport around 4.26pm on Sunday. It is said to have lost communication with the radar at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) upon reaching 14,000 feet above sea level.
Mr Chacha told the 'Daily News' that a team from the Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA) started searching the missing plane immediately after they received information about its disappearance from the radars.
"We got the information on the missing plane on Sunday. Efforts to search for it began yesterday and by morning time we were able to establish that it had in fact crashed 40 kilometres near the Tanzania-Kenya border," Mr Chacha said.
He said full details on the plane crash will be issued later after the investigation team has completed its task. Media reports from Kenya stated that the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority also clarified that the aircraft, a Fokker F-27 MK-500, was supposed to land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at around 8.36pm.
"The aircraft did not land as scheduled and an inquiry team was dispatched to Tanzania in conformity with international standards," read the statement from the KCAA that was quoted by 'Daily Nation Online.'