Written by By Staff Writer
France’s national air accident authority said Tuesday that debris from a plane crash in the Mediterranean was found on an island 4 kilometers off the north coast of Tunisia.
The official said the plane, which crashed last week with around 24 passengers and six crew on board, was Syrian with a Syrian captain. It is not clear why there were 24 people on board. The crash in the hilly area of Nana Bouharfa in Tunisia’s Habib Bourguiba National Park is considered to be a miracle.
The plane was a Boeing 737-600, a medium-range aircraft which used propulsors.
Tuesday’s information had already come out on Monday but it’s the first confirmed news of the crash. It was more than a week ago that the plane went down before dawn last Tuesday.
The plane was en route from Ben Ali international airport, Tunis, in northwest Tunisia, to Palmyra on the Syrian coast, traveling over the Mediterranean Sea.
A huge search by Tunisian military personnel, local fishermen and ferries was launched after the crash to find wreckage and the dead or injured passengers.
Tunisian Air has said on its Facebook page the flight was routine and had taken off at 8.30 a.m. Tunis time and landed three hours later.
At the time of the crash, it was near the ancient town of Dabou — the gateway to Tunisia’s Atlas Mountains — and some reports said it was landing at the Andalucian airport of Difret in Spain.
But Anis Rahmani, a spokesperson for the Algerian state news agency APS, said the airport of Andalucia had been evacuated following the crash. The pilot had requested to be diverted to Andalucia, he added.
CNN weather commentator Miles O’Brien said the plane had passed a storm that had developed over Ben Ali International Airport early on the morning of September 28.
About 4 p.m. CET, the pilot received bad weather reports from radar systems at a southern site and decided to land because the threat had passed, Rahmani said. The ground loss radar showed a storm north of Dabou and indicated a 9,000 meter elevation.
He said the plane’s engineer was transferred to the airport after the crash to assist with the investigation.