Thursday, July 12, 2012

No Canadians in deadly Mauritania crash: Aircraft hired by Toronto-based mining firm crashes in West Africa

The military plane, chartered by Canadian mining company Kinross Gold, crashed shortly after takeoff in Mauritania.

All seven people aboard a military plane chartered by the Toronto-based mining firm Kinross Gold Corp. were killed when the plane crashed in Mauritania today.

There were no Canadians aboard.

The plane caught fire shortly after takeoff Thursday morning from an airstrip in Nouakchott, capital of the West African nation. It had attempted to return to the runway but fell short.

A statement from the mining company said the deceased included:

    The two pilots.
    Two Mauritanian customs officials.
    Three contract security personnel.

"Kinross extends its sincere condolences to the families of the victims," said the company.

The names of the victims have not been released. However, no Kinross personnel or gold were aboard, the company said.

The Russian-made YAK-12 had been chartered to carry gold from its Tasiast mine, about 200 kilometres north of Nouakchott.

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