Pilot, tourists die in Botswana plane crash
Oct. 18, 2011, Gaborone, Botswana - A light aircraft crashed after takeoff and burst into flames in Botswana, killing the British pilot and seven tourists from France, Sweden and Britain, a Botswana official said Monday.
The crash occurred Friday in the southern African nation's Okavango Delta, Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Modipe Nkwe said. He said that two French tourists and two Botswana citizens survived.
The chartered Cessna 208 was operated by local company Moremi Air. It crashed shortly after takeoff from Xakanaka airfield in northern Botswana. It was headed for Pom Pom, a camp site in the delta that is famous for its birds and wildlife, including elephants.
Nkwe told The Associated Press that the British pilot died along with seven tourists — another British man, three French women and three Swedes — two women and a man.
Britain's Foreign Office confirmed that two British nationals had died in the crash. It said that next of kin have been informed and provided with consular assistance, but declined to give further details.
The survivors were airlifted Friday for medical care to Johannesburg in neighbouring South Africa, Nkwe said, adding that the Ministry of Transport is investigating the accident.