September 6, 2015 / 10:28 AM / 2 years ago

Medevac plane with seven on board disappears off Senegal

DAKAR (Reuters) - A medical evacuation plane with seven people on board, including a French patient, disappeared off the coast of Senegal on Saturday night during a flight from Burkina Faso to Dakar, the Senegalese civil aviation authority said on Sunday.

The private Senegalair plane flying from Ouagadougou dropped off radar screens at 7:08 p.m. (1908 GMT), 118 km (74 miles) west of the Senegalese capital, the aviation authority said in a statement.

"The search is still going on but it hasn't been fruitful so far and we will probably continue it tomorrow," said Magueye Marame Ndao, head of the authority.

"We reckon the last point at which contact with radar was lost was 60 nautical miles (111 km) off the coast of Dakar," Ndao said, adding that three planes and a naval ship were involved in the search.

The plane was carrying three crew members, a doctor and two nurses as well as the patient. Those on board included two Algerians and a citizen of Congo, the aviation authority said, without specifying if that meant Democratic Republic of Congo or Republic of Congo.

The plane, chartered by ambulance service SOS Medecin Senegal, left Ouagadougou at 4:30 p.m. (1630 GMT), Burkina Faso's minister of transport, Daouda Traore, told Reuters. Ouagadougou is around 1,700 km (1,100 miles) southeast of Dakar.

Reporting by Diadie Ba in Dakar and Nadoun Coulibaly in Ouagadougou; Writing Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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