Friday, 18 May 2007

Victims of Kenya Airways crash still to be identified.

For the victims of the Kenyan Airways crash almost two weeks ago a day of mourning has been observed in Cameroon.

All 114 people on board the flight died when the aircraft came down into swamps shortly after taking off from Douala Airport.

The official inquiry is still yet to report on the tragedy. Rescuers took 2 days to locate the wreckage.

The people in Cameroon have been very critical about how the crash has been handled by the government. The country’s transport minister still hasn’t visited the site.

Kenya observed a day of mourning on Monday.

Two weeks later and only a few bodies have been formally identified. Most are believed to still be buried in the swampy waters where the plane came down.

Friday, 11 May 2007

Indentification of plane crash victims a slow and painful process

The continuing rescue operation for the plane crash in Douala has been a very slow and frustrating process.

As soon as the aircraft disappeared from radars it appears the confusion started straight away, it was only 24 hours later that a co-ordination team was put together.

When that was eventually sorted the team were looking for the plane 248 miles away from where the actual wreckage was found, questioning whether the authorities can actually manage a major crisis.

One investigator said: "There is too much red tape here. Even when we are faced with a deadline to recover the body parts before they totally decompose,"

Joshua Osih, an aviation consultant in Douala said: "The professionals have been pushed aside in favour of politicians and this has resulted in the mission delays. Despite the urgency of the task, the crisis committee has failed to assemble the appropriate equipment for search operations - even though air force helicopters are readily available in Cameroon”

Human parts that can make up seventy-six bodies had been recovered by Wednesday evening.

Forensic experts from the UK have been flown in to help with the grim process of identifying bodies. But the process of identifying the victims remains difficult.

The crash has been seen as a wake up call for Cameroon’s authorities to assemble a more professional and well equipped team ready to cope with such disasters.

"Going by what happened to the plane it's clear that however rapid the authorities were no lives would have been saved, but we should learn from these mistakes and improve for the future."

Lets hope for everybody’s sake that they do.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Doomed Kenya Airways jet's flight data recovered

The flight data from the crashed Kenyan plane has now been retrieved by rescuers.

It’s hoped that this will be able to give answers as to why the aircraft went down and crashed into a mangrove swamp killing all those on board.

"We found the flight data recorder," Cameroon's civil aviation director general Ignatius Sana Juma was quoted as saying, and then added: "We still need to recover the cockpit voice recorder”.

The plane was located nearly 36 hours after the plane lost contact with the control tower. An official leading the recovery effort at the wreckage said that he had surveyed the entire scene and that nobody had survived. Rescuers began the grim task of removing bodies on Monday.

"There are no chances of finding any (survivors) under the circumstances," Luc Ndjodo said. "There is a crater filled with water and a clearing, then buried in the mud there are scattered plane parts and debris”.

As the swamp is unaccessible by vehicles, recovering bodies will be made more difficult and slow.

Monday, 7 May 2007

No survivors on Kenya Airways Jet crash.

The wreckage of Flight KQ507 has been reached by emergency workers in swamps. It is now confirmed that there are no survivors of the Kenya Airways jet, of those were 5 Britons.

It’s said that the plane was all buried under the swamp, which made the wreckage hard to find.

The plane had taken off from Douala on its way to Nairobi when a distress signal was sent from the plane before disappearing off the radar. The aircraft was located 12 miles from the town’s outskirts in a forest.

A local resident assisting officials in searching for the crash site reported he had seen one body and a body part.

The cause of the plane going down has not yet been established. Patrick Smith a US based airline pilot and aviation expert said: "Whatever happened must have happened very fast, which is usually a sign of catastrophic structural failure".

The aircraft was only 6 months old and had no history of problems. Investigations are continuing to establish the cause of the crash.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Rescuers still working away at flight KQ507 crash sight.

Courtesy of

As I stated before the wreckage of flight KQ507 has been located nearby the airport it took off from in Douala. The aircraft was concealed from view by trees in mangroves therefore making it hard to see.

There has been no information on any passengers as yet and rescuers are still working away at the site.

CEO Titus Naikuni spoke at a news conference in Nairobi: "Kenya Airways regrets to confirm that its flight KQ 507 has been located on a mangrove swamp 20km (12 miles) south of Douala,"

Bad weather may have been a possible factor in events leading to the crash as the plane took off in very heavy rain. But this of course is still speculation until the real facts are established.

Wreckage of Kenya Airways Jet been located.

The five Britons on board the Kenya Airways Jet, which crashed on Saturday, have all been named.

They are Sarah Stewart, Adam Stewart, Anthony Mitchell, Stuart Claisse and Gordon Wright.

The aircraft has been located near a town called Mvengue, which is South West of Yaounde. No details were disclosed of any casualties or the state of the plane.

Relatives of those on board remain in Nairobi for news.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Update on Kenya Airways Jet..

There has still been no word about the wherabouts of the Kenya Airways jet after it disappeared from radar on Saturday.

The search has been hampered by the lack of light and also the terrain the search is being conducted in.

Hope is fading fast of finding any survivors yet officials say that there is a possibility the plane hasn't crashed as it has only disappeared. It's believed 5 Britons are on board one of those being journalist Anthony Mitchell.

The plane is only 6 months old and has no history of any problems, Kenya Airways' safety record is also said to be pretty good.

The search for the plane will continue at dawn on Sunday.

Kenya Airways Jet goes down en-route to Nairobi.

A Kenya Airways passenger jet has crashed whilst carrying 115 people in Cameroon. Among these are at least 5 Britons.

Contact with the jet was lost shortly after take off when air traffic control picked up a distress signal. No contact thereafter could be made.

The plane had stopped off at Douala, which is Cameroon’s largest city. It was here that more passengers boarded the flight to be taken to Nairobi.

The jet was a 737-800 having long-range capability and can carry 189 passengers. There are said to be 8 crew members and a flight engineer also on board.

Titus Naikuni the boss of Kenya Airways said: "The last message was received in Douala after takeoff and thereafter the tower was unable to contact the plane.”

A crisis management centre has been arranged nearby the airport and relatives of those on board will be told of any new information at a nearby hotel.

The last time a Kenya Airways jet went down was in January 2000 where 169 people were killed on a flight from the Ivory Coast to Nairobi.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Watch out BA and Virgin Atlantic!

BA and Virgin Atlantic will have to watch out, BMI are planning new transatlantic flights. However the move isn’t expected to challenge the two main airlines for at least five years.

The new UK to US route is expected to begin from March 31st next year. Fares across the Atlantic will are expected to be slashed following the open skies deal signed earlier allowing EU airlines to fly to anywhere in the US.

BMI chairman Sir Michael Bishop said: "This is a programme that will last three to five years. We will not over-expand the business or anything like that."

Following suit is low budget carrier Ryanair who are also thinking of introducing a low price transatlantic service.

If these airlines get me to New York cheaper then I think it’s great news!

New hotel plans near Gatwick Airport.

For those of us who find it hard to travel to those major airports in London, a new hotel The Tulip Inn is opening up 2 miles from Gatwick. The new establishment is to be situated in the Manor Royal Business Park.

Peter Roberts Chief Executive of Golden Tulip said: "The existing hotels locally are primarily budget or four star models and the Tulip Inn Gatwick will be the area's first limited service, new generation three star hotel.

"We are confident the hotel will also benefit from the millions of passengers who already arrive at Gatwick annually from Europe where the Golden Tulip and Tulip brands are well-established."

This will be the biggest development by this chain accommodating 204 bedrooms equipped with power showers and air conditioning. It will also pave the way for at least 60 jobs.

Plans for opening are estimated in Autumn 2008.

An exciting prospect for holidaymakers and those on business.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Just waiting at Heathrow...

Been away for a while, just trying out my new camera.