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Sat, Oct 23, 2010

Smuggled Croc Causes Plane Crash

Reptile Escaped Into The Plane Cabin In The Congo

A small airliner with 21 people, including the flight crew, on board went down in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a crocodile got away from the passenger that had smuggled it on board causing what was described as panic on board the aircraft. Only one person survived the accident.

L-410 File Photo

That survivor, who has not been identified, said when the reptile got away from the person who had smuggled it on board, people in the cabin fled from the animal, throwing the airplane far out of its balance envelope. The survivor said the Dutch pilot and owner of the Czech-made Let L-410 Turbolet, identified as 62-year-old Danny Philemotte, "struggled" to try to maintain control of the aircraft, but eventually it went down in a residential area just short of the runway impacting a house. The occupants were outside at the time and were uninjured.

The UK Telegraph reports that the witness said the August 25th accident occurred while the airplane was on approach to Bandundu in the DRC. A passenger had brought the croc onto the plane in a large sports bag, and had reportedly  intended to sell it. When it got a way, the official report says that "the terrified air hostess hurried towards the cockpit, followed by the passengers."

The only other survivor of the accident was the crocodile, which was later killed by authorities at the crash site.



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