expressindia.indianexpress.com
expressindia web
HomeBlogsCricketAstrology ShoppingTendersClassifieds Reader Comments
Font Size
Expressindia » Story

Sierra Leone helicopter crash kills 21

Agencies

Posted: Jun 04, 2007 at 1017 hrs IST

Togo's sports minister and 20 other people were killed when a privately-owned shuttle helicopter they were flying in crashed at Sierra Leone's Lungi international airport, sporting and airport officials said on Monday.

Sports Minister Atipe Kwako was among the 18 Togolese nationals on board the Paramount Airlines helicopter which caught fire while descending in preparation for landing at Lungi and crashed on the tarmac around 8.30 pm on Sunday.

One of three Russian crew members survived the crash, and was said to be in critical condition.

"It was shocking to see the helicopter disintegrating," senior airport maintenance officer Alfred Yelinkeh said.

The Paramount Airlines helicopter, owned by a Nigerian businessman, operates a seven-minutes shuttle service between the Sierra Leonean capital Freetown and the airport.

Sierra Leone Football Association public relations officer Chernor Ojuku Sesay said 18 Togolese officials and supporters died in the crash.

The rest of the victims were crew members.

"From what we hear, most of the victims were burnt beyond recognition," Sesay said in Freetown.

The victims were using the helicopter to return to the airport after attending the match in which the Togo national football team beat Sierra Leone 1-0 in an African cup of Nations elimination match.

The team was in Freetown awaiting the next shuttle when the accident took place.

The team and officials had chartered a jet and were due to fly back home last evening.

Firefighters, police and the army only succeeded in extinguished the blazing aircraft several hours after it crashed, airport workers said.

"We are deeply moved over this development. We are also grieved by this tragic loss," said Nahim Khadi, president of the Sierra Leone Football Association.

Print
 
Post Comments
Name* Email ID*
Subject* Country*
Message*
Characters remaining
 
TERMS OF USE: The views, opinions and comments posted are your, and are not endorsed by this website. You shall be solely responsible for the comment posted here. The website reserves the right to delete, reject, or otherwise remove any views, opinions and comments posted or part thereof. You shall ensure that the comment is not inflammatory, abusive, derogatory, defamatory &/or obscene, or contain pornographic matter and/or does not constitute hate mail, or violate privacy of any person (s) or breach confidentiality or otherwise is illegal, immoral or contrary to public policy. Nor should it contain anything infringing copyright &/or intellectual property rights of any person(s).
I agree to the terms of use.

Latest News

Business

Showbiz

Sports

Akhilesh defends IAS officer's suspension, Centre says justice will be done

Political parties object to Supreme Court order on convicted legislators

Dominant India march to 4-0

CBI gives clean chit to Raja Bhaiya in DSP murder case

2G: Supreme Court slams I-T dept, CBI for not acting on Radia tape information...

4 militants killed by Army in Kashmir

Ishrat case: Accused cops demand more documents from CBI

More
© The Indian Express Limited. All rights reserved
Advertise With Us | Privacy Policy | Feedback | Express Group | Site Map