43 die in Sharjah plane crash

43 people died after a Dutch-made passenger plane carrying 40 passengers and five crew crashed in the United Arab Emirates.

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By  John Irish Published  February 10, 2004

43 people died after a Dutch-made passenger plane carrying 40 passengers and five crew crashed in an uninhabited area between Sharjah and neighhbouring emirate Ajman in the United Arab Emirates. According to the Emirates News Agency (WAM). at least two people survived, but both are in a critical condition. The plane crashed at 11am local time (0700 GMT) on its approach to Sharjah International Airport after a short haul commuter flight from the Iranian Kish Island. Early reports suggested the plane had crashed into a supermarket shortly after take off. A spokesman from Sharjah civil aviation authority told Reuters the plane was Iranian, while officials from the airline confirmed one of their planes was missing. The airline said the aircraft was a Dutch-made Fokker-50, which can carry 50 passengers and six crew. The passenger list included passengers from Iran, India, Egypt, Nepal, Nigeria and the Philippines. The Gulf island of Kish is often used as a short break away for holiday visitors from the Gulf, but is more commonly used as a visa transit point for foreign workers in the Gulf. Iran has a chequered history when it comes to its aviation record. This was the sixth crash involving Iranian aircraft since 2000. Last year, 302 people died when a military plane crashed close to the Afghan border. Sharjah International Airport has expanded rapidly over the last year, complemeting Dubai's huge tourism expansion. Part of that has seen a rise the number of operators at the airport, with many low-cost and charter airlines receiving licenses to operate out of the emirate.

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