Saturday, November 28, 2009

Zimbabwe Cargo Freighter Crashes In Shanghai

Freight Plane “ broke into pieces” on Take Off Killing Three
Shipping News Feature

SHANGHAI – CHINA – A Zimbabwe registered cargo plane crashed at 07.40 hours local time today whilst attempting to take off from the city’s Pudong airport en route to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan. Reports claim an intense fire followed after the plane ploughed off the runway into a storage building, its tail having broken into three pieces.

The remaining four crew members were rescued by an army of emergency workers from the damaged Boeing MD11F, and are all reported as injured and currently in hospital. The accident happened after there had been a backlog of flights, cause unknown, as weather reports for the area seemed reasonable. Smoke was billowing across the surrounding area for a considerable time after the accident and flights were suspended stranding 4000 travellers.

Such accidents are, unfortunately, not unknown either in China or Zimbabwe. Historically internal Chinese flights involved in incidents have often not been reported, in June 2006 a military plane crashed in the East of the country killing forty. This month alone a Chinese built, MA60 Air Zimbabwe aircraft taking off from Harare, crashed into a warthog whilst on its way to Bulawayo. The 34 people on board were shaken, but not seriously hurt, after five of the creatures ran across the tarmac causing the landing gear to collapse and damage to a propeller and wing as the plane skewed off the runway.

That incident occurred just after the aircraft carrying Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila had just taken off. Coincidentally another statesman was also involved in a plane drama this month when the aircraft carrying Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, on his way home to Harare, was forced back to land in South Africa after a fault developed.

MA60 craft have been involved in accidents before. In January a plane slewed up to the terminal building in Caticlan Airport, Manila after a bad landing in high winds injuring twenty two.

Pic: MD11 courtesy and copyright of the Boeing Corporation.