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Was the August Plane Crash in the Congo Caused by an Escaped Crocodile Onboard?

Congo On Aug. 25, a Filair LET L-410 aircraft flying from Kinshasa Ndolo to Bandundu (Democratic Republic of Congo) with 18 passengers and three crewmembers crashed approximately 2 km from the Bandundu Airport. There was only one survivor. The initial report from the "provincial governor" attributed the crash to the aircraft running out of fuel, the Aviation Herald reported.

A couple days later, the lone survivor spoke to investigators and infomed them that fuel was not the problem, but rather an "imbalance" caused by passengers, who "noticed that the airplane was not heading for the runway...then rushed to the cockpit unbalancing the aircraft to a point where control was lost." Indeed, the Aviation Herald later reported that 150 liters of fuel were recovered from the wreckage.

Today, however, it is being reported that the imbalance in the aircraft may have occurred because of a far more unusual reason. The Daily Mail reports (via Consumerist) that, in fact, the imbalance was caused when a crocodile escaped from a carry-on bag, triggering a "stampede of passengers trying to avoid the reptile."

Citing a report by news organization Jeune Afrique, the Daily Mail states that the crocodile's owner had hidden the animal in a large sports bag. As the plane was descending into Bandundu, the croc escaped and the "terrified air hostess hurried towards the cockpit, followed by the passengers." Jeune Afrique also reports that the crocodile survived the crash, but was then cut up with a machete.

Posted by Bruce Carton on October 22, 2010 at 11:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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