Eight tourists killed in plane crash in Okavango Delta

18 October 2011 - 02:17 By Sapa-AFP
An ambulance. File photo.
An ambulance. File photo.

Eight foreign tourists have been killed when their plane crashed after take-off near an airstrip in north Botswana's Okavango Delta.

The country's civil aviation authority said yesterday that four Swedes, two Britons and two French nationals died when the plane crashed and burst into flames on Friday.

"The bodies are currently in hospital awaiting forensic examination," said Chris Nkwe, a spokesman for Botswana's Civil Aviation Authority.

In Paris, the French foreign ministry said in a statement that three, instead of two, French nationals had been killed.

It was not immediately clear how many people were on board at the time of the crash.

There were only four survivors - a French couple and two Botswana nationals, according to officials.

The plane was heading to the island of Pom Pom, a luxurious safari destination in the north.

The French couple who survived the crash were airlifted to a hospital in Johannesburg, where they were treated for burns and other injuries.

The pilot of the plane was among the dead.

Nkwe said the embassies of all the deceased tourists had been notified.

Sue Smart, CEO of Moremi Air Charters, said the private airline in the Okavango Delta had temporarily grounded its fleet pending an investigation.

Nkwe said a team of investigators had been dispatched to the scene.