Friday, 6 January 2017

TANZANIA: Cessna C406 Plane Catches Fire, Tourists Escape

Details remain sketchy over information received about an aircraft accident at the Sasakwa airstrip just outside the Serengeti in Tanzania.

The Cessna C406 is said to have suffered a fire following a failed attempt to take off from the strip and neither the airline nor the Tanzanian accident investigations unit nor the Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority have yet come out to state the exact circumstances.

What was learned though was that several among the five tourists and two pilots on board suffered burns and other serious injuries and were subsequently airlifted by East Africa's Flying Doctors to Nairobi to receive treatment. The evacuation by East Africa's oldest medivac organization used three aircraft, a Cessna Grand Caravan, a PC12 and a King Air, showing the seriousness of the situation the Flying Doctors were faced with.

One source at Nairobi's Wilson Airport has indicated that at least one of the victims was judged to be critically ill though no updates on the patient's condition could be obtained at this stage. The nationality of the tourists and of the two pilots are not known.

The Sasakwa airstrip serves the private Grumeti Game Reserve which adjoins the main Serengeti National Park.