Dar es Salaam. Hope of finding remains of victims of a light aircraft registered in Tanzania and owned by Fly Zanzibar Limited are dead.
The plane based in Zanzibar, crashed into the sea off the coast of Comoros in February.
Captain Mohammed Mazrui, the owner of the firm, told The Citizen yesterday that they had lost hopes immediately after the search and rescue team in the Comoros wound up the exercise about a month after the accident.
Carrying 14 people on board, the Cessna Caravan plane - which was on a short-term lease to a Comoran operator, AB Aviation - plunged into the sea as it flew between the capital Moroni and the city of Fomboni, local media reported.
“No hope,” Captain Mazrui who lost his relative in the accident responded briefly to a question on whether they had any hope that the pax could come out alive.
However, he said, for the Muslims, they had to wait for four years before pronouncing that their beloved relatives were dead. Those aboard the crashed plane include two Tanzanian pilots and 12 Comoran passengers. Captain Mazrui said the airline was currently following up on insurance cover. Reports from the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) have it that in the event of an accident to an aircraft, the insurance company could cover the aircraft itself and compensate families of passengers and crew involved in the accident.
But this is only if the accident was found to be genuine---all flight documents were intact.
Before winding up the searching and rescue exercise, searchers and rescuers only spotted what looked like floating debris of the aircraft and bags of the pax in the sea.
AB Aviation which was operating the aircraft is on record as saying the plane disappeared from radar about 2.5 kilometres from its destination, the airstrip of Bander Salam airport in Moheli, with the cause of the accident remaining unknown.
There had been no reports of any technical faults during the flight, reports say, making aviation stakeholders suspect that bad weather had caused the crash.