'No mechanical fault' with Mozambican plane in deadly crash

2013-12-16 16:25

Windhoek – The probe into the crash of a Mozambican airliner in Namibia last month that killed all 33 people on board, has found there was no apparent mechanical problem.

“There was no mechanical malfunction detected so far,” according to information decoded from the black boxes, director of aircraft accident investigations in Namibia, captain Ericksson Nengola, told AFP today.

But three weeks on from one of the worst air accidents in Namibia, forensic experts have identified only seven of the 33 victims.

“We have established seven identifications using dental and fingerprint comparisons thus far,” police official Major-General James Tjivikua said.

“We regret that there are not more at this time,” he said in a statement.

The plane, en route from Mozambique to Angola, went down in torrential rains on November 27 in the deserted swampy terrain of the Bwabwata national park, where Namibia turns into a narrow strip of land sandwiched between Botswana and Angola.

The victims were from Mozambique, Angola, Portugal, Brazil, France and China.

Police blame the delay in identifying the victims on the volume of body parts needed to be examined. By the middle of last week they had carried out tests on more than 600 parts.

Tjivikua said police hoped to complete the identifications by the third week of January.

“This is a protracted process,” he said, given the complexity of the analyses and the large volume of samples involved.

Investigators looking into the disaster will now carry out a physical inspection of the crash site, Ericksson said.

The Brazilian-manufactured Embraer 190 aircraft was the newest plane in the Mozambican Airlines fleet.

It was one of the worst air accidents on record in Namibia and in Mozambique’s civil aviation history.

The team of investigators includes experts from Botswana, Angola, Mozambique, Brazil, China, the US and Namibia.

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