/ 8 June 2004

Plane crashes in Atlantic off coast of Gabon

A small commercial airplane crashed into the Atlantic off the West African nation of Gabon on Tuesday, company officials said.

Authorities rescued 10 of the people on board and were searching for 20 others.

The craft was a two-engine propeller plane flown by Gabon Express, a private Gabon company.

An official with the company said the plane was carrying 26 passengers and four crew members.

Ten were rescued and in hospitals in Gabon late on Tuesday morning, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Search operations were under way for the others.

It was not immediately clear how far offshore the crash occurred.

The plane was headed from Gabon’s capital, Libreville, to the southern Gabon city of Franceville. — Sapa-AP

Associated Press reported Nafi Diouf contributed to this report from Dakar.