30 June 2009
Yemenia Airlines; A310-300; Flight 626; near Moroni, Comoros Islands: The aircraft was on a flight from Sana’a, Yemen to Moroni, Comoros Islands with 142 passengers and 11 crew on board. Early reports indicate that the aircraft crashed in the sea near the main island of Grande Comore in the early morning hours of June 30th. Some bodies have been spotted, as well as some wreckage of the plane located. One survivor, reportedly a child, has been found so far, and search and rescue operations continue.
Update: 01 Jul 2009
One survivor and 5 bodies have been recovered. According to a nurse in Moroni's hospital the 13 year old girl (who has been identified) received just minor injuries and is doing well following the first night, doctors would release more information during the day. Her father in France reported, she had told him on phone she suddenly found herself in the water and in the dark. She heard other voices initially, later it became quiet. Rescuers said, that when they found the girl, she wasn't able to grab the life belt thrown to her. A diver went into the water and brought her on board of the boat.
Yemen's Transport Minister said, that the airplane had undergone maintenance and inspection in May 2009 under the supervision of Airbus Industries. French Authorities had reported, that a number of faults had been found on 7O-ADJ during an inspection by the French Direction Generale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC) in 2007, the airplane had not returned to France and therefore was not inspected again thereafter. At least one of the black boxes has been located on July 1st.
About the Comoros IslandsThe nation of the Comoros Islands is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa, between northern Madagascar and northeastern Mozambique. The last fatal plane crash in the Comoros Islands was the November 1996 crash of a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines 767.
About Yemenia AirlinesYemenia Airlines has been in operation since 1961 and has no previous fatal plane crashes. Two previous serious incidents did not result in any serious injuries. On June 26, 2000, a 737 departed the side of the runway during a landing in Khartoum, Sudan, and the nose gear collapsed.
On August 1, 2001, a Boeing 727 overran the runway at Asmara in Eritrea, and the main landing gear failed after the aircraft crashed into a large block of concreteAbout the A310The aircraft has been in service since 1978 and has been involved in seven previous plane crashes that involved passenger fatalities. The most recent one was a June 2008 crash of a Sudan Airways A310-300 in Khartoum, Sudan. According to AirFleets.net, about 255 aircraft were produces, and about 190 remain in service. By far the largest current operator in world is FedEx, with about 62 aircraft in service.