Rwandan plane crashes at airport, kills 1 person

AP News
Posted: Nov 13, 2009 1:32 PM

A passenger plane with a recent history of technical problems crashed into an airport VIP lounge in Rwanda's capital, killing one passenger, airline officials said Friday.

Rwandair executive Jack Ekl said the pilot had reported technical difficulties after taking off from the Rwandan capital of Kigali on Thursday afternoon. He said the plane tried to make an emergency landing but crashed into the VIP lounge at the airport. Airline officials said there were 14 passengers aboard the plane.

The company's CEO, Gerald Zirimuabagabo, said the plane had shown signs of technical problems as recently as Wednesday, when a problem with the plane's generator prompted an emergency landing at the international airport in Nairobi, Kenya. He did not say whether mechanics addressed Wednesday's technical problem before Thursday's flight.

The CRJ-100 aircraft was leased from Kenya's Jetlink. The plane was on route to Uganda before Thursday's crash.

Zirimuabagabo said authorities from Kenya and Rwanda have launched an investigation and the airline has suspended its two other Jetlink-leased planes. He said the airline now only has one functioning plane.