Sudan Crash Kills 116; 2-Year-Old Boy Survives;8 Foreigners among Dead

Article excerpt

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) A Sudanese airliner crashed minutes after its captain reported technical problems following takeoff yesterday, killing 116 people, officials said. The only survivor was a 2-year-old boy.

The Boeing 737 had just left Port Sudan on the northeastern Red Sea coast for the capital, Khartoum. The crash occurred at about 4 a.m. (0100 GMT) in an uninhabited area outside the airport, about 660 kilometers northeast of Khartoum.

The child was rushed to hospital in good condition, state airline officials said.

They said the dead were 11 crew members and 105 passengers - 54 Sudanese men, 27 women, and 16 children as well as eight foreigners, including Malaysians, French, and a citizen of the United Arab Emirates.

The emergency center said one Sudanese passenger did not board the plane and the United Arab Emirates national took his place.

The bodies of the dead had been burned, and further details on the passengers were not immediately available.

A team of experts was headed to the scene to investigate the cause.

Sudan has suffered few passenger-plane accidents in recent years, but several crashes of military aircraft amid a 20-year-old civil war.

Two years ago, a militaryplane crash in the war-torn south killed the country's deputy defense minister and 13 other highranking officers.

In 1996, a Sudanese passenger jet crashed during a sandstorm while trying to make an emergency landing outside Khartoum, killing 50 people. A decade before that, the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army shot down a Sudan Airways aircraft shortly after it took off, killing all 70 people on board.

The rebels have been fighting for greater autonomy for the mainly Christian and animist south from Sudan's Islamic government.

Fighting has raged mainly in the south.

Port Sudan, in the northeast, is the country's only significant port. It is also the site of the national oil refinery and the terminal of the pipeline from oil fields of south-central Sudan.

Technical problems

KHARTOUM (AFP) - A total of 115 people were killed when a Sudanese airliner crashed in eastern Sudan yesterday after reporting technical problems, leaving a two-yearold boy as the sole survivor, official sources said. …