Kenya air crash: They saw ‘a disturbance of the sea’

South African businesses on Sunday said several of their employees were missing following the disappearance of a Kenya Airways aircraft.

Cellphone group MTN, confirmed that five of its employees were missing.

Spokesperson Pearl Majola said the staff members were travelling to South Africa on business.

The staff members on board the flight were; Campbell Utton, Sarah Stewart, Adam James Stewart, Patrick Njamfa, and Patrice Enam.

Chevron SA also said that two of its employees were also on the flight.

”Chevron can confirm that two of its employees were on-board the flight. They are Gordon Wright, who is a South African and Stuart Claisse who is a British citizen,” said the company’s spokesperson.

Automation technology group ABB SA said two of its employees and a subcontractor were aboard the aircraft.

The company said Chesney Bradshaw said Gerard Kanda, Cornelius Hermanus Van der Westhuizen and subcontractor Hans Peter Weder were on board the flight.

Meanwhile, Kenya Airways said the search for the aircraft that crashed in Cameroon was continuing on Sunday evening.

”We have received word from local fisherman saying that they saw a bang in the sky and a disturbance of the sea on the day the aircraft went missing [Saturday],” said spokesperson Glenn Lewington.

He said a boat, aircraft as well as a ground team, made up of Kenyan Airways staff and the Cameroonian army, had been dispatched to search for the missing aircraft off the coast of Cameroon.

The Kenyan Minister of Transport and members of the French army were also among those participating in the search for the flight, said Foreign Affairs Department spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa.

Earlier, the names of 114 people, including seven South African nationals and nine crew members, were released although it was unclear which of the 114 named were South African.

The 737-800 aircraft left Douala in Cameroon at five minutes past midnight on Saturday but failed to arrive in Nairobi, Kenya.

The last message from the aircraft was received by the Douala control tower immediately after take-off.

Other people on board included 35 Cameroonians, 15 Indians, six Chinese, six Ivorians, six Nigerians, and five Britons.

The Associated Press reported that one of the missing Indians, Chauhan Amol, was the nephew of business tycoon Ramesh Chauhan. Chauan owned Parle Products, a leading manufacturer of biscuits, chocolates and bottled water in India, the report said. – Sapa

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