20 People Die In Plane Crash Caused By Loose Crocodile

An August plane crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo was blamed on a balance in the small aircraft. But what caused that loss of balance? According to the flight’s only survivor, the passengers were running away from a stowaway on the flight: a live crocodile.

The croc escaped from the duffel bag a passenger had stashed it in while attempting to smuggle the animal.

The real reason for the crash wasn’t initially made public. Shortly after the accident, the Aviation Herald reported:

The passengers noticed that the airplane was not heading for the runway 11/29 (1380 meters/4530 feet long) and began shouting, then rushed to the cockpit unbalancing the aircraft to a point, where control was lost.

A loss of balance was the reason for the crash, yes, but that wasn’t why the passengers rushed the cockpit. The magazine Jeune Afrique reported the real reason earlier this week. but plane was off-balance because of the stampede of terrified passengers and crew trying to get away from the crocodile.

Two passengers survived the crash. Ironically, so did the crocodile. One of the survivors later died, and the crocodile was killed with a machete by an unidentified person.

Les vraies raisons du crash de Bandundu [Jeune Afrique] (Who says my B.A. in French was useless?)
Escaped crocodile sparked panic which brought down airliner killing British pilot and 19 others [Daily Mail] (Thanks, Lauren!)
Crash: Filair L410 at Bandundu on Aug 25th 2010, impacted building [Aviation Herald]