Cameroon state radio says a Kenya Airways jetliner with 114 people on board has crashed in southern Cameroon. The plane took off from Cameroon's commercial center of Douala early Saturday and was bound for the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Katy Migiro has more for VOA from Nairobi, where Kenya Airways has set up a crisis center.
Naikuni says Cameroonian authorities picked up an automatic distress signal from the plane and they have sent helicopters to the area the signal came from.
"The latest information that we have is that a distress signal was picked up on the west coast of Africa and a search and rescue mission, initiated by the Cameroonian authorities, was initiated at 1105 this morning, that is Nairobi time," he said. "So far no report has yet been received from this mission."
The distress signal came from an area about 35 nautical miles south west of Doula.
Government spokesperson Alfred Mutua described the situation as tragic. He says a team of Kenya Airways and Kenyan government officials are leaving for Cameroon in a few hours.
"The government has co-ordinated a team of officials and experts led by the Honorable Minister of Transport Chirau Ali Mwakwere to travel to Cameroon and link up with authorities there so as to establish what is happening and also lead the operation," he said. "The government will do everything to unearth the cause of this accident in order to prevent it from occurring again."
In 2000, 169 people died when a Kenya Airways Airbus crashed into the sea shortly after take off from Abidjan, in Ivory Coast.
The missing plane was only six months old.
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