Wreckage of crashed plane in Africa found

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Monday, June 21, 2010

The wreckage of an aircraft carrying eleven mining executives from Australia has been found in Cameroon, according to the country's information minister.

According to the official, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, either nine or ten bodies have been recovered from the aircraft, which was reported missing on Saturday and apparently crashed in the Congo. Bakary said that "[t]he wreckage has been found in Congo. Unfortunately there were no survivors."

The plane, a Casa C212, was traveling from Cameroon to Congo, where Sundance Resources, an Australian mining company whose entire board of directors was on the plane, is trying to develop an iron ore mine. Contact with the plane was lost around an hour after it took off.

In addition to six Australians, including one of the country's richest men, Ken Talbot, there were two British, two French, and one US citizen on board the plane. The search for the downed plane had involved Cameroon, Australia, the United States, and Canada, and had included four aircraft, although operations had been disrupted by fog.

Sundance said that they had halted all African operations in the wake of the crash, which led to the cessation of trading the company's shares and the appointment of an acting CEO, the firm's Chief Financial Officer Peter Canterbury. Another Sundance official said that although significant, the crash would not "mortally wound" the company.


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