At least 30 people died when a passenger jet caught fire after landing at Khartoum airport, officials said today, with dozens more still missing as authorities probed the cause of the accident.
The bodies of 30 people who burned to death when the Sudan Airways Airbus A310 caught fire late on Tuesday have been taken to Khartoum's morgue, an official said, adding that 121 people survived the accident.
State television previously reported that nearly half of the 203 passengers were killed when the plane from Amman burst into flames after one of its engines exploded on landing. The plane was carrying 11 crew.
"We have 30 bodies at Khartoum morgue," said Taher al-Haj Ibrahim Abdin, the general director of investigations. "For now, we have counted 121 survivors," he said, adding that 22 of them were injured.
"The rest we consider as missing, but according to our information, some passengers went home before they could be counted."
An official enquiry by the civil aviation authority and Sudan Airways has already been opened to probe the cause of the accident, amid contradictory reports that either weather or a technical failure were to blame.
The airport was due to reopen at 12:00 noon (1430 IST), the official MENA news agency reported, although no flights took off immediately.
Airport authorities said an engine caught fire, spreading to the fuselage, while survivors said weather conditions at the time of the landing were poor, with the capital hit by a sandstorm and then heavy showers.