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Jun 19, 2007 at 12:01pm IST

15 Indians were on Kenya plane

New Delhi: There were at least 15 Indians on the Kenyan Airways plane that has crashed in southern Cameroon. This information was released by a Kenyan television channel.

Search is on for the missing plane and its passengers including the 15 Indians.

Military and civil aviation helicopters were scouring a wide zone in the central African country between Kribi on the Atlantic coast and Ngomedzap, south of the capital Yaounde.

The Government on Saturday said that the Ministry of External Affairs is in touch with the Indian High Commission in Nairobi following the crash.

Kenyan Airways said there were 34 Cameroonians, 15 Indians, seven South Africans, six Chinese and six Ivorians, five Britons and one American among the passengers, the bulk of whom were from African countries.

In all, the plane was carrying 105 passengers and nine Kenyan crew members.

At least 14 people have been confirmed killed in the crash.

The flight went missing on Friday night shortly after it took off from Douala.

The plane crashed near Niete, south of the Cameroonian port town of Kribi and north of the border with Equatorial Guinea, after taking off from Cameroon's second city of Douala.

The airline said the Douala control tower had received the last message from the aircraft right after take-off.

It also said that the authorities in Cameroon had picked up an automatic distress signal from the area where the plane went missing.

The carrier generally has a good safety record on a continent where air accidents are above the world average.

The last crash of an international Kenya Airways flight was on Jan. 30, 2000, when Flight 431 was taking off from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on its way to Nairobi. Investigators blamed a faulty alarm and pilot error for that crash, which killed 169 people.

In 2004, the United States helped investigate the crash of a Flash Airlines Boeing 737 that killed all 148 on board minutes after taking off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt.

Helpline Numbers: 00-27112071100 and 00-2722497220.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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