See also:
» 27.05.2009 - Military chopper crashes near Somalia
» 22.10.2008 - Somali children given first priority in crisis food distribution
» 15.07.2008 - Deteriorating security worrying in Somalia
» 16.06.2008 - Floods kill 6 in Somalia
» 12.06.2008 - Piracy threatens Somali food emergency shipments
» 12.11.2007 - Somalia: Mounting bloodshed prompts pleas for help
» 28.03.2007 - Somali govt starts issuing new e-passports
» 20.11.2006 - Flooding 'will affect food security'

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Somalia plane crash kills 3

afrol News, 13 August - A plane crash in Somali's capital, Mogadishu has killed three crewmembers onboard after hitting a telecommunication tower as it attempted to land at the airport today.

An airplane carrying Khat, a mild narcotic leaf, which is a lucrative business in Somalia, is reported to have crashed due to humidity, which surrounded the landing strip.

"The plane circled twice over the landing zone and hit telephone line two kilometers away and crashed," airport official Bashir Hasan reported.

He further added that they rushed to the scene, but it was too late, as all crewmembers had already died. "We had to remove burned remains from the crash. The postmortem revealed that two victims were Kenyans and one Arabian," he said.

"The aircraft with 5.4 tonnes of khat was cleared by police and civil aviation authorities in Nairobi to fly to Mogadishu at 4.53 am East African time," a deputy spokesman of the police, Owino Wahong'o said.

The aircraft was said to be carrying a consignment of khat, a mild stimulant largely grown in Eastern Kenya and sold widely in Mogadishu.

Fly540, a domestic carrier launched in 2006, is owned by a Kenyan citizen and Lonrho, which bought a 49% stake in the firm for US$1.5 million. The chartered flight to Mogadishu's K-50 airport is the first major incident for the local carrier, which hopes to begin regional flights soon.

Somalia has no independent aviation body, and the country's aviation needs are provided from Kenya, which was given mandate to oversee the country's civil aviation needs after it descended into anarchy nearly 17 years ago.

Another witness, Abdi Farah Moalim, also confirmed that three charred bodies were retrieved from the wreckage.

War-ravaged Somalia is in the grip of a humanitarian crisis and UN estimates half of its 10 million population will need food aid by the end of the year.

But a series of deadly attacks on aid workers by bandits, pirates and fighters has severely curtailed aid agencies' operations. Planes carrying khat are among the few still flying to Mogadishu.

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