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No details on Kenyan air crash, says MEA

The ministry says it has not got any confirmation as yet from its mission in Nairobi about the wreckage sighting.

world Updated: May 07, 2007 03:33 IST

Even as reports came in on Sunday of the sighting of the wreckage of the Kenyan Airways plane on which 15 Indians were on board, the external affairs ministry said it had not got any confirmation as yet from its mission in Nairobi.

"We too have got reports of the wreckage being spotted. But, till we get confirmation from our mission, we cannot give any details," Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed told the agency.

Earlier, Cameroon radio reported that search teams had sighted the crashed airliner in a rain-forest southwest of the Cameroon capital, Yaounde.

The plane with 114 people aboard, including 15 Indians, went missing early on Saturday.

The search by two teams from Kenya and Cameroon for the aircraft had been hampered due to bad weather.

An Indian high commission official in Nairobi declined to comment on news that the wreckage had been spotted.

"The search operations by Kenyan and Cameroonian officials for the Kenyan Airways passenger jet with 15 Indians on

board (which crashed near Cameroon capital Yoaunde) has been hampered due to bad weather." He told the agency on phone earlier.

"We are in constant touch with the Kenyan airways officials to keep us posted on the latest developments," he said.

He said a Kenyan team left for Cameroon immediately after the crash and two teams were looking for the aircraft.

"One team is looking for the aircraft near Cameroon capital, Yoaunde, and another near Douala from where the aircraft took off. The weather is still very bad and they have not been able to locate the wreckage so far," the official had said.

There were indications that the aircraft may have gone down in thick rainforest in the southwest of the country. Residents in the Lolodorf region reported hearing a loud explosion, Cameroon radio said.

A spokesperson for the airline said that takeoff from the Cameroonian city of Douala had been delayed by an hour due to heavy rains.

The aircraft originally took off from the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan and made an interim stop at Douala before taking off again shortly after midnight on its way to Nairobi. It was due to land early on Saturday.

An emergency signal was received from the aircraft shortly after takeoff, Kenya Airways chief Titus Naikuni said. The signal was an automatically generated broadcast and had not been transmitted by the pilot.

Kenya Airways is a partner of KLM and Air France. In 2000 a Kenya Airways plane crashed following takeoff in Abidjan, killing 169 people.

A spokesperson for the airline told South African radio that the plane involved Saturday crash was brand new.

Following is the list of 15 confirmed Indian nationals on board the Kenyan Airways flight KO-507 as put out by the Indian External Affairs ministry.

1. B Madhusudan.
2. Ms Poojita Madhusudan.
3. Mrs Bhagya Madhusudan.
4. Kevin Joseph Jude.
5. Mrs Shirley Nigli.
6. Ms Gracey Manuel.
7. Mrs Maria Joseph.
8. Mr Aman Gaur.
9. Nalakath Gireesan.
10. Amol Chauhan.
11. George Joseph Kochery.
12. Mrs Meera Shah.
13. Inder Deep.
14. Prakash Sundaram.
15. David Kenneth John.