Plane Crash That Killed 20 Being Blamed on Escaped Crocodile

Posted Oct 21st 2010 03:14 PMUpdated Oct 22nd 2010 09:19 PM

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A plane crash that killed 20 in the Democratic Republic of Congo in August is being blamed on a crocodile onboard.

The lone survivor has told investigators a hidden crocodile escaped from a passenger's sports bag and caused a stampede in the cabin, throwing the small plane off balance, the Telegraph newspaper reports.

The bizarre story includes an account of how the crocodile lived through the crash, only to be killed by a blow from a machete.

The plane was on a routine flight from the capital, Kinshasa, to the regional airport in Bandundu, when the incident occurred on Aug. 25. There had been no apparent mechanical problems when the plane came down just short of its destination.

The survivor is quoted in an inquiry report, obtained by the newspaper, as saying the crocodile escaped as the plane began its descent. With the creature on the lose, panic ensued.

According to the report, "The terrified air hostess hurried towards the cockpit, followed by the passengers."

With the plane off-balance, the Belgian pilot and British First Officer struggled in vain to control the aircraft, a Czech-made Let L-410 Turbolet, the newspaper says.

The plane crashed into an unoccupied house a few hundred feet from the regional airport.

At the time of the crash, some media speculated the plane had run out of fuel.

Filed Under: News

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