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The wreckage of a Mozambique Airlines plane that disappeared over Namibia has been found, but none of the 33 people aboard survived the crash, police say.

The burned-out aircraft was found in the Bwabwata National Park, near the borders with Angola and Botswana.
"The plane has been completely burnt to ashes and there are no survivors," Namibia Police Force deputy commissioner Willy Bampton was quoted by Reuters as saying.

In Maputo, Mozambican Airlines, LAM, had issued a statement revising the passenger list down to 27, rather than the 28 earlier reported, along with the six crew members.

The statement said the 33 included 10 were Mozambicans, nine Angolans, five Portuguese, one French national, one Brazilian and one Chinese.

LAM flight TM470 took off from Maputo at 09H26 GMT Friday and had been due to land in the capital Luanda at 13H10 GMT, but never arrived.

Last contact with the place came around 1130 GMT when it was over north Namibia. 
 
The authorities say most of those on board were Mozambican or Angolan, and several more were Portuguese. The aircraft also carried one citizen from each of Brazil, China and France.

Initially, the airline said there were signs the aircraft might have landed near Rundu. But on Saturday, Mr Bampton said villagers in the area had heard an explosion.

"Botswana officials informed us that they saw smoke in the air and they thought the crash happened in their country, but when they came to the border they realised that it was in Namibia," Willie Bampton said.

Before confirmation of the crash, people close to those on board gathered at Maputo airport, many frustrated at what they said was the lack of information.

"They told us it was a forced landing. I know it's a crash," said Luis Paolo, a friend of one of what were said to be two Portuguese businessmen on board the flight.

The Bwabwata National Park, a 6,100-square-kilometre (2,355 square mile) reserve, is a sparsely-populated area covered by wetlands and dense forests.

The European Union banned the Mozambican airline, known by the acronym LAM, from flying in its airspace in 2011.

"Significant safety deficiencies" led to the blacklisting of all air carriers certified in Mozambique, the EU said at the time.

The concern was about Mozambique's civil aviation authority, rather than the track record of the various airlines.

Sources: BBC News,AFP


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