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Jun 19, 2007 at 01:39pm IST

15 Indians on Kenyan plane dead

New Delhi: Fifteen Indians aboard a Kenya Airways plane that crashed on Saturday after taking off from Doula in Cameroon are feared dead.

The place where the Nairobi-bound flight crashed has not been found and rescue work has been hampered by fog and thick forest. Nine of the 15 Indians were Kerala.

Amol Chauhan, who won two silver medals in the Guwahati National Games this year, died in the crash. Amol’s father, Sharad Chauhan, is the managing director of Parle Products, which manufactures biscuits, chocolates and bottled water in India.

The Associated Press reports that Amol, 28, had been in Cameroon for two days to visit a factory his family owns there. Anuj Kumar Sehgal, deputy manager of exports for Parle Products, told the news agency Amol’s family have been calling their business associates to get updates.''

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told CNN-IBN that government would help in bringing back bodies.

“We are getting slowly information about the crash that took place. We will get all the details soon. And if necessary we will bring back the passengers from there,” he said.

Rescue efforts have been hampered by bad weather. The plane had crashed in a densely forested area on Saturday shortly after take-off.

The crash site has not been found yet. Anxious relatives of passengers are waiting in Nairobi.The government has said it is in touch with its High Commission in Nairobi.

Reuters reports rescue and teams are combing a thick tropical forest in southern Cameroon where the aircraft was supposed to have crashed. The Boeing 737-800 aircraft disappeared on Saturday after leaving Douala airport bound for Nairobi in torrential rain.

A signal from the plane's emergency locator beacon that had been picked up on Saturday was lost, said Kenya Airways Group Managing Director Titus Naikuni in Nairobi on Sunday.

(Relatives of people on board the plane can call this number: 00254 - 20 - 3200353. )

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