SAN’A, Yemen (RPRN) 6/30/2009–A Yemeni airliner has crashed in the Indian Ocean off the coast of the Comoros, with 153 people on board. Officials say one survivor, a child, has been rescued. The bodies of three other people were also recovered. Officials from Yemenia Air say the plane went down early Tuesday morning while flying from the Yemeni capital of Sanaa to Moroni on the main island of Grand Comore.
The cause of the crash is unknown, however news reports say there were strong winds as the plane approached the island. The plane, an Airbus 310, was carrying 142 passengers and 11 crew members.
France’s transport minister Dominique Bussereau said French inspectors detected a number of faults with the airplane during a 2007 inspection. He said that Yemenia Air was not on a blacklist of airlines banned from European airspace, but the airline was being subjected to closer inspections.
France says it has sent two military aircraft to assist in the rescue efforts.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner says there were 66 French nationals onboard.
The Yemeni Air plane is the second Airbus to crash into the ocean this month. An Air France Airbus A330 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean June 1, killing all 228 people onboard.
Airbus says it is sending a team of specialists to the Comoros to help with the crash investigation.
The Comoros is made up of three islands about 300 kilometers northwest of Madagascar, in the Mozambique channel.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
Photo credit: Yemenia Airbus, Wikipedia