• U.S.

Disasters: Suddenly, Lost At Sea

1 minute read

At first, it sounded eerily like those stories about the Bermuda Triangle, that mysterious patch of water and air off the southeastern U.S. where planes and ships inexplicably disappear, never to be seen again. South African Airways Flight 295, bound for Johannesburg from Taipei, was ten minutes away from its scheduled landing on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius for refueling when the pilot radioed the control tower saying there was smoke in the cabin. The Boeing 747 was immediately cleared for an emergency instrument landing. Said Servan Sing, an air-traffic controller on Mauritius: “After that, we had no contact.”

For more than twelve hours, the jumbo jet was missing, eluding a massive air and sea search by French, U.S. and South African authorities. When an SAA rescue plane finally located the wreckage about 175 miles northeast of Mauritius late last week, there was no sign that any of the 140 passengers and 19 crew members had survived. Should none be found, the crash would be the worst ever for state-run SAA.

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