Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Eight tourists perish in plane crash in the Delta

At least eight foreign tourists perished when a light aircraft crashed and burst into flames on takeoff while four are fighting for their lives at Letsholathebe Hospital in Maun.

The Deputy Police Commissioner, Keabetswe Makgopbe, confirmed the accident but was reluctant to divulge information, saying that police were not the right authority to release the information.

He, instead, referred this paper to the Botswana Civilization Authority.

BCA spokesperson, Modipe Nkwe, confirmed the crash but was cagey with information.

“We are investigating an incident in which an aircraft that was carrying about 12 people, three being the crew members of Moremi Air, and 9 foreign tourists crashed in the swamps near Maun,” said Nkwe.

He said the accident happened on Friday afternoon but reaching the area was a bit of a challenge because of poor communication.

Nkwe said he had not yet received official confirmation on those who died or got injured as the rescue team was busy at the scene.
“I would not say as yet how many died,” he said.

Information passed to Sunday Standard a few hours after the crash suggests that on Friday last week at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, a fifteen-seater air craft flying nine tourists, one pilot and two attendants crashed on takeoff from Xakanaka camp to Pongpong in the Delta near Maun.
It is reported that eight died on the spot while four are in critical condition.

Of the eight that perished, three, including a 70-year-old pilot, were Britons of ages between 51 and 78, three French females of ages ranging from 51 to 64 and three Swedes: two females and one male age ranging from 80 to 83 while the four survives in the crash include two Batswana and two French nationals.

The Chief Executive Officer of Moremi Air was unable to pick her mobile phone when contacted for comment.

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Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of August 9 - 15, 2020.