Sudan Airways Airbus bursts into flames in Khartoum

A Sudanese aircraft inbound from Damascus and Amman burst into flames on the tarmac yesterday in Khartoum as it was taxiing towards the terminal. News reporters are still sifting out the details, but it appears that the problem was not related to the poor weather near the airfield or any pilot error but rather a technical problem with one of the engines. At this point, it seems that one of the engines had a problem, ignited and the resulting fire spread throughout the rest of the aircraft.

The flight crew were fortunately able to evacuate about 170 passengers out of the Airbus 310 before the fire took hold. Initial reports of over 100 casualties have since been revised to 30 with only 5 pulled out of the wreckage so far.

As for the aircraft, the entire airframe has been consumed by the blazing hot jet fuel fire. Some reports indicate that the craft may have split in two on the tarmac as well, but those rumors have yet to be confirmed.

Sudan has a dicey history with air safety, and many feared that the problem was poor air traffic management or even terrorist related. At this point, however, the problem still appears to be technical. We’ll know more when accident investigators are able to get on site and track down the cause of the crash.