Botswana air disaster kills European tourists

by Alister POOLE on October 18, 2011

Seven European tourists have been killed in an aeroplane crash in Botswana, according to officials.

Moremi Air’s Cessna 208 crashed in the Okavango Delta region. It came down not long after taking off around midday on Friday from Xakanaxa airfield, which is located in a nature reserve in the north of Botswana, confirmed the African nation’s Civil Aviation Authority.

Three Swedes, three French citizens and a British holidaymaker were among the tourists that were killed along with the plane’s British pilot. Thankfully, two French tourists and two Botswana nationals managed to survive the crash. Domestic media reported that they were officials representing the ruling party’s Department of Road Transport and Safety.

The plane was making its way to Pom Pom, a popular safari destination located in an area famous for its mesmerising natural beauty, making it a must-see for wildlife enthusiasts and other tourists to Botswana. Officials said that the cause of Friday’s crash isn’t yet known, and that the transport ministry is continuing to investigate.

Moremi Air’s Ms Sue Smart said that the company’s fleet is going to be grounded until the investigation has been completed. She added that the pilot who was killed was the carrier’s most professional, with in excess of 12,000 hours’ worth of flying time.

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