NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- 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 last message was received in Douala after takeoff and thereafter the tower was unable to contact the plane," Kenya Airways CEO Titus Naikuni said.
The Boeing 737-800 was carrying 106 passengers, eight crew members and a flight engineer, he said. The plane is the latest generation of the 737 model, capable of carrying 189 passengers and has long-range capability.
"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 January 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.
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Posted by Audrey Hudson at Saturday, May 05, 2007