The plane, which took off in the west African country shortly after midnight, was supposed to land at 05:10 a.m. local time, Swiftair, a charter company based in Spain, said in a statement today. The plane carried 110 passengers and six crew.
“There has been no contact with the plane until now,” Swiftair said. “Emergency teams and the company’s personnel are working to figure out what happened and will notify people as further information is available.”
A loss of the aircraft would mark the third major accident in a week around the world for commercial airliners. A Malaysian Air Boeing 777 went down over eastern Ukraine on July 17 following a suspected missile strike, killing all 298 people on board, while an ATR-72 turbo-prop crash yesterday on the Penghu Islands in Taiwan left 48 people dead.
MD83 planes, introduced in 1980, belong to a family of twin-engine, short- to medium-range, single-aisle commercial airliners. They were built by McDonnell Douglas Corp., acquired by Boeing Co. in 1997. Boeing had no immediate comment.
Swiftair has more than 400 employees and has a fleet of more than 30 planes, which include models such as the Boeing 727 and 737, MD83, ATR72/42, Embraer 120 and Metroliner, according to its website.
An Emirates flight from India with 300 people on board crash landed at Dubai's main airport on Wednesday, sending black smoke billowing into the air and halting all traffic at the Middle East's busiest airport. Authorities said all passengers were evacuated safely.
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