Namibia Probes Airplane Crash in Game Park That Killed 33 People

Namibia will lead an investigation into the Nov. 29 crash of a LAM Mozambique Airlines plane in a game park, killing all 27 passengers and six crew members.

Ten of the deceased passengers were Mozambique nationals, with nine Angolans, five Portuguese, and one person each from China, Brazil and France, LAM said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. The 93-seat Embraer 190 aircraft underwent routine maintenance the day before the flight, LAM said.

Flight TM470 went missing after leaving Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, at 11:26 a.m. on Nov. 29, LAM said. The plane, heading to the Angolan capital, Luanda, crashed in Bwabwata National Park near the border with Angola and Botswana, the state-owned Nambian Press Agency reported Nov. 30, citing Bollen Sankwasa, deputy police commissioner of Namibia’s Zambezi Region.

“In accordance with international aviation law, Namibia, as the country where the accident occurred, will lead the investigation,” LAM said. “Civil Aviation Authorities from Mozambique, Angola, Brazil and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board will also participate in the investigation.”

Recovery teams from LAM and Kenyon International Emergency Services are on the scene and have begun searching for the victims’ remains and their possessions, according to the Mozambican airline.

The aircraft, powered by two General Electric Co. (GE) CF34-10 turbofan engines, was delivered new to LAM and entered service on Nov. 17, 2012, the airline said. The plane and engines had logged 2,905 flight hours in 1,877 flights.

Both pilots held valid Airline Transport Pilots licenses and had medical check ups in September, LAM said. The captain had logged 9,053 flight hours while the first officer had completed 1,418 flight hours.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kevin Crowley in Johannesburg at kcrowley1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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