Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Update on Sudan Airways accident at Khartoum

Sudan Airways A310 accident at KhartoumMore details are emerging about the Sudan Airways accident at Khartoum, which happened yesterday, June 10, 2008. According to an official from Sudan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), quoted by several news organizations, the Sudan Airways A310 aircraft (registration number ST-ATN), operating as Flight SD109, erupted into flames and veered off the runway shortly after arriving at Khartoum in poor weather.

More than 200 people were said to have been on board the flight, including 11 crew members. At this writing, 30 deaths have been confirmed, with 14 people still listed as "missing." Some of those missing were thought to have left the accident scene without reporting to authorities. Dozens of survivors were hospitalized with injuries. Several media reports mentioned that one crew member had yet to be accounted for, but quoted a Sudanese CAA official who confirmed that all 11 crew members survived.

The flight originated in Damascus and made a scheduled intermediate stop in Amman before continuing on to Khartoum. Due to poor weather conditions at Khartoum, the aircraft diverted to Port Sudan where, some reports said, the plane was refueled and more passengers boarded. The aircraft subsequently returned to Khartoum and landed. Many news reports stated initially that the aircraft "overshot the runway," but these reports appear to be false, as official sources concur that the aircraft did land on the runway. (It is possible that the writers mistakenly used the term "overshot the runway" to describe what turned out to be a runway excursion after landing.)

Various news reports state that an engine fire broke out on the starboard side of the aircraft after it landed, and that the aircraft "veered off the runway," however there is still some confusion regarding the order of events. Some reports state that the engine fire preceded the runway excursion, while other reports seem to indicate that the fire did not occur until after the aircraft had come to a stop. What is clear is that there was a fire that ultimately engulfed the entire fuselage, and that the aircraft did leave the runway.

Videos of the accident scene:,

[Photo Source]