Officials say that a Kenya Airways 737 with 114 people aboard crashed shortly after taking off from the southern Cameroon city of Douala today. The aircraft, a Boeing 737-800 series, carried passengers from at least 20 countries. The aircraft was only six months old.
Heavy rain in the area may have contributed to the accident. The wreckage has not yet been found, and the weather, along with dense vegetation in the area, has hampered search and rescue efforts.
Kenya Airways is one of Africa’s only profitable airlines, and has a satisfactory safety record relative to other African airlines. In 2000 a Kenya Airways Airbus crashed killing 169.
This afternoon the NTSB announced that the government of the United States, as well as representatives from Boeing and the aircraft’s engine maker, General Electric, will assist in the investigation.
The flight departed Douala in route for Nairobi when air traffic controllers lost radar contact. Locals reported hearing an explosion and seeing a flash in the sky.