'Nother Airbus crashes in water. 'Nother black box search likely to happen. Crash site only a couple miles from shore. One kid found alive.
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/06/3 ... an374.html
Toddler survives Yemenia Airbus crash
Plane went down with 153 passengers on board
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 | 6:03 AM ET
Relatives and friends of passengers of a crashed Yemenia Air flight arrive at a crisis center at Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris on Tuesday. (Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters)
A toddler has been found alive amid the debris of a passenger jet that crashed into the Indian Ocean early Tuesday with 153 people on board, officials said.
The Yemenia Air Flight IYE626 was en route from the Yemeni capital of San'a to the island nation of Comoros when it went down over the Indian Ocean between the southeastern African coast and Madagascar in the early hours of Tuesday, officials said.
Comoros police said three bodies had been recovered so far and a small child has been pulled from the water alive. There is no word on other survivors.
The Airbus A310 was carrying 142 passengers — including families with babies — and 11 crew members.
Several bodies have been spotted floating in the water off the archipelago of three islands about 2,900 kilometres south of Yemen, said Mohammed Abdul Qader, a Yemeni civil aviation deputy.
Three search and rescue boats have been sent to an area about 30 km from the Moroni airport where the plane was expected to land, Abdul Qader said.
Some pieces of debris from the plane have also been recovered, said Rachida Abdullah, a police officer who works with the airport immigration department in Comoros.
Officials said they lost contact with the plane about five minutes before it was supposed to land on the main island of Grand Comore.
French Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau said poor weather in the region, where wind speed was 60 km per hour and there were choppy seas, may have played a role in the crash.
An Airbus statement said the twin-engine wide-body jet — identified by the serial number 535 — went into service in 1990 and had accumulated 51,900 flight hours. It has been operated by Yemenia since 1999. The company is sending a team of specialist to Comoros.
The Airbus was the second one to crash into the sea this month. An Air France Airbus A330 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 228 people on the night of May 31.
Yemeni, French and Comoron officials are jointly co-ordinating an investigation into the Yemenia crash.
66 French nationals on board
Officials said the majority of the passengers were from the Comoros islands and were returning home from Paris.
The French military is sending a patrol boat, a frigate, a reconnaissance ship and a military transport plane to the crash site, said military spokesman Christophe Prazuck.
Divers and medical personnel will be made available to help in the search, Prazuck said.
A crisis centre has been set up in Paris and Marseille, where about 67 people originally departed and then stopped to pick up more passengers, according to officials.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said 66 of the passengers were French and expressed "sincere condolences" to the victims' families.
The French Embassy in Moroni has also been mobilized to help families, Kouchner said.
"There is considerable dismay," Stephane Salord, the consul general of the Comoros in the Provence-Alps-Cote d'Azur region of France. "These are families that, each year on the eve of summer, leave Marseille and the region to rejoin their families in the Comoros and spend their holidays."