NAIROBI, Kenya - Kenya Airways has lost contact with a commercial airliner carrying more than 100 passengers that took off from Cameroon early Saturday, the airline said.
The first Boeing 737-800, the longest 737 ever built, takes off on it's first flight Thursday, July 31, 1997, in Renton, Wash. Kenya Airways has lost contact with a commercial airliner, similar to the one shown, early Saturday May 5, 2007 the airline said. [AP]
"The last message was received in Douala after takeoff and thereafter the tower was unable to contact the plane," Kenya Airways CEO Titus Naikuni said Saturday.
The Boeing 737-800 was carrying 106 passengers, eight crew members and a flight engineer, he said. The plane is capable of carrying 189 passengers.
"We have no details about what has happened to the aircraft," Naikuni said.
The flight departed Douala at 12:05 a.m. and was to arrive in Nairobi at 6:15 a.m. The flight originated in Ivory Coast but stopped in Cameroon to pick up more passengers, the airline said.
The airline opened a crisis management center near the airport. Relatives of those on the plane were instructed to go to a downtown airport, where they would be provided information as it became available.
The last crash of an international Kenya Airways flight was on Jan. 30, 2000, when Flight 431 was taking off from Abidjian, Ivory Coast, on its way to Nairobi. Investigators blamed a faulty alarm and pilot error for that crash, which killed 169 people.