French and US aircraft joined the hunt on Wednesday for possible survivors from a plane that crashed off the Comoros archipelago, while in Paris expatriate Comorans tried to block another flight by the same airline.
The Yemenia-run Airbus A310-300 went down in the Indian Ocean on Tuesday morning with 153 people on board as it came in to land at Moroni, the Comoran capital. It was flying the final leg of a trip from Paris and Marseille to Comoros via Yemen.
Just one survivor — a 14-year-old Franco-Comoran girl — has been found in the sea. “Up to now we haven’t found any other survivors, but we haven’t given up hope,” Comoran vice-president Idi Nadhoim said.
As a flotilla of boats took to sea off the main Grande Comore island at first light, angry Comoran expatriates tried to block passengers from checking into another flight from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport to Yemen, the airports authority said.
About 60 people who had been due to take the flight did not check in, though the spokeswoman could not say if the protest was the cause or if they had decided not to travel for another reason. About 100 people did check in and the flight took off.
The survivor from the flight, identified as Bakari Bahia, had cuts to her face and a fractured collar-bone. She was picked up during rescue efforts on Tuesday.