Tuesday, October 9, 2012

► SUDAN: Azza Air Transport AN-12 crashes near Khartoum, 15 dead.

Azza Air TransportAn Azza Air Transport (AZZ) Antonov AN-12BP (*confirmed MSN 402010 | ST-ASA) operating a flight for the Sudanese military, has crashed 40 kilometers west of Omdurman, as it was climbing out of Khartoum International Airport en-route to El Fasher, capital of North Darfur.

Of the 22 occupants on board, 13 died at the scene, while 9 others were taken to hospitals with injuries of varying degrees. Two more of the injured later died in hospital from their injuries bringing the death toll to 15.

Al-Sawarmi Khaled Saad, spokesperson of the Sudanese Army, today, said:
"A military transport plane, Antonov An-12, was heading from the capital Khartoum to El Fasher, capital of North Darfur carrying 16 military personnel in addition to its crew of 6 people," he added that the plane was also transporting military equipment.

Azza Air Transport Antonov AN-12 "ST-ASA"
Azza Air Transport Antonov AN-12 "ST-ASA"(MTI)
The Aviation Herald reports that it was "around" 12:00L (09:00Z) when the crew first reported the failure of one engine and decided to return to Khartoum. The crew subsequently reported the failure of a second of the aircraft's four engines. An emergency landing was attempted, during which the aircraft broke up, before coming to a rest near the proposed new airport in Omdurman.

A controversial airline, Azza Air Transport started operations in September 1993 and is owned by Omdurman National Bank, Shaikan Insurances and Sheikan Insurance. In May 2007, the US Department of State placed it under sanctions for "transferring small arms, ammunition and artillery to Sudanese government forces and Janjaweed militia in Darfur." In October 2009, an Azza Transport Boeing 707-300 (MSN: 788 |ST-AKW) lost height after takeoff from Sharjah, UAE before crashing, killing all 6 on board.  

In recent weeks, Sudan has been hit by numerous air crashes and airworthiness incidents. Most recently, a Sudanese military Antonov AN26 (unknown make) veered off the runway at El Fasher International Airport during landing due to a "technical failure," whilst in late August, an Alfa Air Sudan Antonov 26 (MSN: 47302606 | ST-ARL) crashed into a slope in the Nuba mountains south of Talodi killing all 32 (26 passengers and 6 crew) passengers on board.