London, Oct 22 (ANI): A British pilot and 19 others were killed in a plane crash that was caused by a crocodile that had escaped from a traveller's large sports holdall.
A survivor of the crash said the appearance of the crocodile caused passengers to panic and to flee towards the cockpit of the small turbo-prop aircraft, causing it to nosedive out of control.
Chris Wilson, 39, of Shurdington, Gloucs, was helping to fly the Let L-410 plane from Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to a regional airport at Bandundu when the incident took place.
The plane smashed into an empty house, killing first officer Wilson, Belgian pilot Danny Philemotte, 62, and 18 of the 19 others aboard.
The lone survivor told investigators the crocodile escaped from a large sports bag that a passenger, who planned to sell it, had hidden it.
The creature lived through the crash but was later killed with a machete wielded by rescuers sifting through the wreckage.
Wilson's pal Roger Bailey, 48, said his friend had expressed concern about the safety of the aircraft he flew.
"He told me they are blacklisted by the licensing authority," the Sun quoted Bailey as saying. (ANI)