Investigation into Sudanese plane fire begins

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a fire on a Sudanese plane that killed at least 29 passengers.One of the aircraft’s engines reportedly caught fire shortly after it landed yesterday in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

The Sudan Airways Airbus 310 flew from Damascus, Syria, and Amman, Jordan, carrying around 214 people. It made an unscheduled stop in Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast because of bad weather, according to reports.

At least 29 people were killed inside the burning plane, while 171 escaped, said the Sudan Civil Aviation Authority spokesman, Abdel Hafez Abdel Rahim Mahmoud, adding that 14 still remained unaccounted for.

Sudan has a poor aviation safety record. In May, a plane crash in a remote area of southern Sudan killed 24 people, including key members of the southern Sudanese government. In July 2003, a Sudan Airways Boeing 737 en route from Port Sudan to Khartoum crashed soon after takeoff, killing all 115 people on board.