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Sudan Airways says that 113 people so far are known to have survived last night”s (10 June) major fire at Khartoum Airport.
Television pictures show a catastrophic blaze engulfing the Airbus A310 that was carrying 203 passengers from Amman via Damascus, but a member of Sudan Airways operations staff told ABTN from Khartoum that the causes of the fire were still unknown.
”Everyone is still waiting for the final figure for survivors [but] up to 30 people are dead and the situation will be clearer this afternoon,” he said. ”The airport was closed up to this morning and is still not open [although] we will be opening [soon] for all traffic.”
The operations member confirmed that heavy rain was in the Khartoum vicinity last night, but that it had improved this morning.
Sudan News Agency SUNA, says that 100 people plus ten crew escaped the fire. One of the problems hampering any verification of the passenger manifest is that many who survived simply made their way home.
The A310 ” operating as flight 109 ” had encountered bad weather earlier in the day, but had returned to Khartoum following an improvement in conditions.
SUNA quotes the Sudanese Civil Aviation Authority as saying: ”The aircraft was operating from Khartoum to Amman via Damascus [but] when reaching Khartoum Airport was faced by bad weather and diverted to Port Sudan. After improvement in weather conditions, it returned to Khartoum.”
After landing the aircraft was instructed to park by air traffic control, but for reasons as yet unclear a major fire broke out, leading to the evacuation with the assistance of civil defence forces.