Six dead in Sharjah plane crash

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Crashes


By The National

SHARJAH // Six people were killed when a cargo plane in which they were travelling crashed soon after takeoff from Sharjah International Airport yesterday.

Flight SD2241 left Sharjah for Khartoum at 3.29pm, and the plane crashed two minutes later. It came down on a deserted stretch of land near the Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, but missed a number of nearby roads.

Witnesses said the Boeing 707, which was carrying general cargo, appeared to turn sharply before crashing, perhaps in an attempt to move away from a residential area, and burst into flames upon hitting the ground.


Firemen arrived on the scene within minutes and spent more than two and a half hours battling the flames. The bodies of the six men on board, all Sudanese nationals, were recovered from the wreckage early yesterday evening.

The General Civil Aviation Authority launched an investigation in the hours after the crash, said Saif al Suwaidi, its director.

The so-called black box, which records data from inside the cabin, was recovered, and will be used in the investigation of the accident.


Mr Suwaidi added that it was too soon to determine the cause of the crash. An airline source in Khartoum said one of the plane’s engines may have failed.

A cargo operator in the Sharjah free zone said he saw the aftermath of the crash from about one kilometre away.

“After takeoff there was a huge sound, a big explosion,” said the operator, who asked not to be named.

“I saw the immediate results. Burning, fire, smoke, pieces of aircraft everywhere. All the men, they’re gone. I knew some of them.”

The plane was owned by Azza Transport, a cargo company based in the Sudanese capital, but was being operated by Sudan Airways.

Five of the six who died were employees of Azza Transport; the sixth, a load master, worked for Sudan Airways.

Among the dead was the captain, Mohammed Ali, 55, who had more than 20 years’ experience and had been planning to retire soon.

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