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Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961

From Academic Kids

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 was a flight that flew on a Addis Ababa-Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi-Brazzaville-Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos-Abidjan route.

When ET-AIZ, the Boeing 767-260ER on the flight entered Kenyan airspace on 23 November, 1996, three men hijacked the airplane and demanded that the plane be flown to Australia.

The plane began to run out of fuel as it approached the Comoros Islands. The pilot attempted an emergency landing at the airport at Grande Comore. However, the aircraft ran out of fuel before it could land. The captain then attempted to ditch into shallow waters 500 meters off of Le Galawa Beach, near the capital of the Comoros Islands, Moroni. The hijackers beat the flight crew as the plane came closer to the water, causing it to bank left. The left engine and wingtip struck the water, causing the aircraft to break up and crash. Island residents and tourists, including a group of scuba divers, came to the aid of crash survivors.

Among the first theories to surge about this crash, was one where one of the kidnappers was drunk, and tried to take control of the airplane seconds before it crashed. That theory, however, was never proven.

Ten of the twelve crew members and 117 of the 160 passengers died. All three hijackers are presumed dead.

This was one of only a few large airliner crashes into water that yielded any survivors.

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