A Kenya Airways Boeing 737-800, flight KQ-507, has crashed in a mangrove swamp en route from Douala (Cameroon) to Nairobi (Kenya). The accident happened early on Saturday morning very shortly after take off. It is unlikely that there are any survivors from 114 souls it was carrying. The aircraft was just six months old, having been delivered from Seattle at the end of last summer.
The airline has issued a breakdown of nationalities on board. These include 35 from the Cameroon, 15 Indians and five with British passports. All the crew were from Kenya.
Kenyan transport minister Chirau Ali Makwere ” who is leading a team of Kenya Airways and government officials to Douala ” said it was too early to determine what had happened to the aircraft.
"We need to get information from the technical experts as to whether it was occasioned by the weather or pilot error or mechanical fault," he was quoted by the Associated Press as saying. Terrorist activity has not been ruled out.
Kenya Airlines is a member of the Skyteam Alliance and is 26% owned by Air France/KLM. Generally speaking it has an excellent safety record although a crash in January 2000 killed 169 people on board an Airbus A310. Ten people survived when flight 431, from Abidjan to Lagos, ploughed into the sea moments after take off. Pilot error was said to be a major contributory factor.