News Plane Crashes — 14 September 2017

Lisbon – An Angolan Antonov 26 airplane exploded minutes after take off from a northeastern Angolan airport, killing all 48 people on board, a Portugese news agency has reported.

The aircraft was carrying 42 passengers and six crew, all of them Russian, when it exploded on Tuesday night near the northern Angolan town of Saurimo, 700km east of Luanda, said a spokesperson for the local operating company, Guicango.

The official said the plane “exploded in the air” after taking off from Saurimo en route to Luanda.

The accident occurred about 50km from Saurimo, the capital of Lunda Sul province in the former Portuguese colony, which is sunk in a decades-old civil war.

The official gave no immediate explanation for the disaster.

The plane had left Luanda on Tuesday morning and had made stops at the towns of Dundo and Lucapa.

It was not immediately clear what the Russians were doing in the area.

Angola’s civil aviation authority dispatched a team of investigators to the crash site early on Wednesday.

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