Friday, November 29, 2013

LAM Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique Embraer ERJ-190, C9-EMC, Flight TM 470: Accident occurred November 29, 2013 in Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

The Namibian Police on Saturday found the burned wreckage of a missing Mozambican Airlines plane in a remote area in the northeastern part of the country, saying none of the 33 people from several countries aboard had survived the crash.  

“My team on the ground have found the wreckage. No survivors. The plane is totally burned,” said Willie Bampton, a regional police coordinator in the Kavango region.

The plane, en route from Mozambique to Angola, went down in remote terrain in the Bwabwata National Park, where Namibia turns into a narrow strip of land sandwiched between Botswana and Angola.

In Maputo, Mozambican Airlines, LAM, had issued a statement revising the passenger list down to 27, rather than the 28 earlier reported, along with the six crew members.

The statement said the 33 included 10 Mozambicans, nine Angolans, five Portuguese, one French national, one Brazilian and one Chinese.

LAM flight TM470 took off from Maputo at 09H26 GMT Friday and had been due to land in the capital Luanda at 13H10 GMT, but never arrived.

Last contact with the place came around 1130 GMT when it was over north Namibia.

Namibia police sent a search team to the area after Botswana officials alerted them of a plane crash in the area.

“Botswana officials informed us that they saw smoke in the air and they thought the crash happened in their country, but when they came to the border they realised that it was in Namibia,” Bampton said.

Villagers in the area told police they had heard explosions.

Namibian authorities have not yet said as to the possible cause of the crash and the country’s cabinet was on Saturday holding an emergency meeting over the accident.

The search for the plane was hampered both by the rough terrain and torrential rains pounding the area where the plane, a Brazilian-made Embraer 190, went missing Friday, Bampton told AFP.

“There are no proper roads, you have to go through the bush, slowly and its making our job difficult,” he said.

Before confirmation of the crash, people close to those on board gathered at Maputo airport, many frustrated at what they said was the lack of information.

“They told us it was a forced landing. I know it’s a crash,” said Luis Paolo, a friend of one of what were said to be two Portuguese businessmen on board the flight.

The Bwabwata National Park, a 6,100-square-kilometre (2,355 square mile) reserve, is a sparsely-populated area covered by wetlands and dense forests.

The European Union banned the Mozambican airline, known by the acronym LAM, from flying in its airspace in 2011.

“Significant safety deficiencies” led to the blacklisting of all air carriers certified in Mozambique, the EU said at the time.

The concern was about Mozambique’s civil aviation authority, rather than the track record of the various airlines.

Comunicado: TM470 Maputo - Luanda (Actualização: 10:30h)  

 A LAM  - Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique, S. A. informa que no voo TM 470 do qual ainda estão em curso acções de busca seguiam 27 passageiros, dos quais:

    10 Moçambicanos;
    09 Angolanos;
    05 Portugueses;
    01 Francês;
    01 Brasileiro;
    01 Chinês.

A LAM continua empenhada na coordenação com as autoridades aeroportuárias e aeronáuticas da Namíbia, Botsuana e Angola com vista a localizar o avião e
inteirar-se da situação.

Maputo, aos 30 de Novembro de 2013


LAM - Mozambique Airlines, S. A. informs that its flight TM 470 departed from Maputo International Airport at 11:26 hours today, November 29, 2013, to Luanda, the Angolan capital, scheduled to arrive at 14: 10H, local Angola time has not arrived at its destination as scheduled.

Information obtained indicates that the flight has landed in a location in Northern Namibia, bordering Angola and Botswana near a place called Rundu. On board flight TM470 were 28 passengers and 6 crew members.

Currently LAM, Aeronautical and Airports authorities are establishing contacts with the authorities close to the location in order to confirm this information. LAM will provide updates as more information is obtained

For more information contact LAM Corporate Communications, Mr. Norberto Mucopa: 82 7846815 and Mrs. Irina Matos: 825777946

Maputo, 29th of Novembro 2013