Transportation

Survivor: Crocodile Caused Plane Crash that Killed 19

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A wild story out of Africa, where a crocodile -- that a passenger snuck aboard inside carry-on luggage -- may have caused the plane to crash, killing 19 passengers and crew.

When the crash happened in the Democratic Republic of Congo on August 25th, it was assumed it was because the plane ran out of fuel. But now the sole survivor of the crash is telling a very different story.

According to the African magazine Jeune Afrique, the passenger said the crocodile ate its way through the bag in which it was hidden and ran through the plane. That caused passengers to panic, who started a stampede to one side of the cabin. That may have tipped the small Let-410 airplane off balance, causing it to go down "despite the desperate efforts of the pilot," the magazine quotes the report as saying.

Ironically, the crocodile also survived the crash but was later killed with a machete by rescuers sifting through the wreckage.

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However, Tim Atkinson of the Air Accidents Investigations branch of the Department for Transport, who is dealing with the accident from the United Kingdom, thinks the crocodile being the cause is unlikely, although he "wouldn't rule it out completely."

He added, "If this were the cause it is truly extraordinary."