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TV: 100 dead in Sudan after plane catches fire
Sudan Plane Crash N 5740002
This video frame grab image taken from Sudan TV via AP Television News shows a plane that burst into flames after apparently veering off a runway at an airport in Khartoum, Sudan, Tuesday June 10, 2008. About 200 passengers are thought to have been aboard, but it is unclear how many might be casualties. - photo by Associated Press
    KHARTOUM, Sudan — A Sudan Airways jetliner veered off a runway late Tuesday amid thunderstorms and burst into flames, killing about 100 people, Sudanese television reported.
    An Associated Press reporter at the scene said the plane arriving from Amman, Jordan left the runway as it landed in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.
    The head of Sudanese police, Mohammad Najib, said bad weather ‘‘caused the plane to crash land, split into two and catch fire.’’
    ‘‘We believe that most of the passengers were able to make it out and escape with their lives,’’ said Najib, without disclosing further details on how they escaped.
    But he stressed that officials could not say for sure how many were killed. About 200 passengers were thought to be aboard the plane when it landed.
    A death toll of 100 would make it the deadliest crash since July 2007, when a Tam Linhas Aereas SA jetliner Airbus 320 skidded off runway while landing in Sao Paulo, Brazil, killing all 187 people on board and 12 on the ground.
    Spokesmen for the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington could not immediately provide any details of the incident on Tuesday afternoon, but said they were continuing to monitor the situation.
    Sudan has a poor aviation safety record. In May, a plane crash in a remote area of southern Sudan killed 24 people, including key members of the southern Sudanese government.
    In July 2003, a Sudan Airways Boeing 737 en route from Port Sudan to Khartoum crashed soon after takeoff, killing all 115 people on board.
    After that crash, Sudanese officials blamed sanctions for restricting vital aircraft parts. The U.S. State Department said there was no ban on equipment needed for aviation safety.
    In 1997, then President Clinton issued an executive order barring the export of goods and technology to Sudan because of the country’s ‘‘support for international terrorism, ongoing efforts to destabilize neighboring governments, and the prevalence of human rights violations.’’

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