From media reports reaching me, the Yemenia airliner which crashed on Tuesday, June 30, 2009, off Comoros had 153 on board. As of July 15th, no information has surfaced that anyone on board was associated with coelacanth research.
Reports said at the time that the flight contained 66 French citizens and that most of the other passengers were from Comoros. Only one survivor, 14-year-old Bahia Bakari was found alive. She clung to wreckage for 13 hours before being rescued. Her family had taken the flight, on their way from France, coming to Comoros for vacation.
The passengers on the downed plane, an aging Airbus 310, were flying the last leg of a journey from Paris and Marseille to Comoros, with a stop in Yemen to change planes. Most on board were from Comoros, plus the French citizens. Severe turbulence was believed to be a factor in the crash, Yemen’s embassy in Washington said.
“The tragedy prompted an outcry in Comoros, where residents have long complained of a lack of seatbelts on Yemenia flights and planes so overcrowded that passengers had to stand in the aisles,” reported News 24.
As mentioned here recently, a new small bat has been discovered in the Comoros islands.
Also, most famously, Comoros, an archipelago of three main islands 2900 km south of Yemen, between Africa’s southeastern coast and the island of Madagascar, is the source of the 1938 discovery of the coelacanth.
If anyone has any word of anyone on board linked to coelacanth research and the Comoran conservation effort, please contact Cryptomundo.
A few months ago, I wrote of how The Daily Mail had published an article about the improbable existence of a “coelacanth curse.”
The end of this story has yet to be told. Stay tuned for further updates on the passenger list, when details become available.