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Planemaker to help with probe after crash

01 December 2013, 08:18

Sao Paulo - Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer confirmed Saturday that one of its planes crashed in an accident that killed 33 people in Namibia and that it was sending experts to assist investigators.

The burned-out remains of the Embraer 190, operated by Mozambican Airlines, were found Saturday in rural northeastern Namibia. Local police said none of the 27 passengers and six crew had survived.

Embraer in a statement said it "deeply regrets to confirm the accident that occurred" on flight MT 470 on Friday and that the aircraft was delivered to the airline in November 2012.

"Embraer reaches out to the families of the victims and to LAM - Linhas Aereas de Mocambique - at this moment of pain for all involved," it said.

"The company extends its support to investigating authorities, in pursuit of the causes of the accident. To that end, a team of Embraer technicians is preparing to go to the scene of the accident."

The aircraft, en route from Mozambique to Angola, went down in deserted, swampy terrain in the Bwabwata National Park, where Namibia turns into a narrow strip of land sandwiched between Botswana and Angola.

The Mozambique government was holding an emergency meeting in the presidential palace but made no immediate statement, other than to confirm that 33 people had been on board.

The European Union banned LAM and all air carriers certified in Mozambique from flying in its airspace in 2011, citing "significant safety deficiencies".

The concern was about Mozambique's civil aviation authority, rather than the track record of the various airlines.



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