By Simon Hradecky, created Tuesday, Jun 30th 2009 06:21Z
A Yemenia Airbus A310-300, registration 7O-ADJ performing flight IY-626 (dep Jun 29th) from Sana'a (Yemen) to Moroni Hahaia (Comores) with 142 passengers and 11 crew, disappeared from radar while on approach to Moroni about 6 minutes prior to estimated arrival at around 1:50am local time (Jun 29th 22:50Z). One survivor and 5 bodies have been recovered.
Comores Officials reported, that the airplane was on the outbound leg of the instrument approach and during the turn back towards the runway 6 minutes prior to estimated arrival, when it disappeared. Yemen's Civil Aviation Authority reported, there were 142 passengers and 11 crew on board. The airplane had approached runway 20 and had gone around for another attempt to runway 20, when it disappeared.
On Tuesday morning (Jun 30th around 05:00Z) a boat discovered debris of the missing airliner in the Indian Ocean, reports suggesting the debris was located about 10-15nm from the airport and 3-6nm from the coast line. Initially there were no signs of survivors, several bodies have been sighted. Later it was clarified, that the site is north of the airport before the city of Mitsamiouli.Yemenia Officials confirmed at 09:00Z, that one survivor has been found and recovered. Later they described the survivor as a three year old child.
Comores Police however reported, that the survivor was a 14 year old girl wearing a life vest. 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.The airline reports 142 passengers and 11 crew.
The Comores Foreign Ministry said however, that number was incorrect and 147 passengers (including lap children) were on board. The airplane had departed Sana'a with a delay of 90 minutes at 21:30L. The French Transport Minister reported, that 66 of the passengers were French. At least one of the black boxes has been located on July 1st.Airbus Industries regret the loss of another Airbus A310-300 registration 7O-ADJ, which was involved in an accident while approaching Moroni at around 01:50L (22:50Z) with 142 passengers and 11 crew on board. The airplane (MSN 535, PW4152 engines) had accumulated 51900 flight hours in some 17300 cycles. Yemenia operated the aircraft since 1999.
Airbus Industries will provide support to the investigating authority and the French BEA participating in the investigation.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.
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