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Yemen airliner crashes off Comoros with 153 aboard

Yemen airliner crashes off Comoros with 153 aboard

A Yemeni Airbus A310 jet carrying 153 people crashed into rough seas as it came into land in the Comoros islands early yesterday but rescuers plucked a child survivor from the water, officials said. It was the second time in less than a month that an Airbus has crashed into the ocean. This time French authorities said the Yemeni carrier had been under surveillance and that problems had been reported with the jet.
Bodies and wreckage from the Yemenia airline flight were spotted in the Indian Ocean near the island archipelago capital, Moroni, aviation officials said. But a child among the 142 passengers and 11 crew on Flight IY 626 was rescued alive, a surgeon at the main Moroni hospital, Issa Ben Imani, said.
Imani said the child was being taken to land where an ambulance waited to take the child to hospital.
In Sanaa, Yemenia's deputy managing director for operations Mohammed al-Sumairi said three bodies had also been recovered.
The long gruelling Flight IY 626 had started in Paris early Monday and made stops in Marseille, Sanaa and Djibouti before heading to Moroni.
Moroni international airport control tower lost contact with the jet just before it was due to land amid bad weather, airport director Hadji Mmadi Ali said.
French civil aviation officials said 66 passengers were French. Three small babies were also among the passengers, officials said. France sent two navy ships and a plane from its nearby Indian Ocean territories to help the rescue.
The European plane maker said the jet which crashed off Moroni was made in 1990 and had been operated by Yemenia since 1999.
France's Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau said inspectors had noted numerous faults on the Yemenia jet and the airline was being closely monitored by EU authorities.