It has been reported that a plane crash which killed a British pilot and 19 others could have been caused by an escaped crocodile.
The aircraft crashed in the Democratic Republic of Congo when a crocodile, that had been smuggled into the cabin, started a panic among passengers, according to an unnamed sole survivor. A British expert, who is investigating the crash for the Department for Transport, said he could not rule out a crocodile as the cause, but added it would be “extremely unlikely”.
The plane was traveling from Kinshasa to Bandundu when it went down, not far from its destination in an area of straw-covered huts. According to reports, the accident followed a stampede of terrified passengers fleeing the crocodile after it freed itself from a sports bag in which it had been carried on board.
Tim Atkinson, of the Air Accidents Investigations branch of the DfT said, “If this were the cause of the accident it is truly extraordinary. “I would say it’s extremely unlikely this story holds water but I wouldn’t rule it out completely.”
He added that there had been reports of passengers making their way to the front of the aircraft prior to landing, which may have led to the crash.