The African magazine, Jeune Afrique , claims that the cause of an August 25th plane crash which resulted in the death of 20 passengers was the escape of a smuggled crocodile. The magazine has reportedly interviewed the only survivor of the accident. According to the statement, passengers abroad the airliner panicked after the crocodile escaped from a duffel bag. This, in turn, caused the plane to become unstable and, despite the pilot's efforts, crash into a residential area. The passenger plane was a routine domestic flight from the capital of Kinshasa to a regional airport in Bandundu.
British crash investigators are skeptical of the story but do not absolutely discount the survivor's claim. According to the MSNBC news story, the aircraft belonged to Filair, a private carrier, and was a Czech-made Let L-410 twin turboprop. Congo’s domestic air service consists mainly of badly maintained Soviet-era aircraft with a dismal safety history, according to media reports. Air crashes are common in the Central African country.