JetLink CRJ100 likely to be written off after Kigali collision

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Images from the scene of yesterday's Bombardier CRJ100ER accident at Kigali in Rwanda show that the aircraft has been substantially damaged in a building collision.

The entire cockpit section of the jet, which carries the livery of JetLink Express of Kenya, was embedded in a low rectangular structure, adjacent to the control tower, which is said to serve as an executive lounge.

JetLink had operated the 12-year old aircraft - serial number 7197, registered 5Y-JLD - for two years. It is owned by GIE Lerins, a vehicle affiliated with BNP Paribas.

ATI understands that the aircraft will be declared a total loss. Its wings have separated at their root and there is heavy damage to the main gear. The nose-gear appears to have been destroyed as the jet hit the building.

Kigali's control tower is located on the western side of the airport apron and the aircraft appears to have ploughed nose-first into the eastern wall.

The circumstances of the accident remain unclear. Unconfirmed indications suggest that the aircraft, operating to Entebbe on behalf of RwandAir, returned to Kigali about 15min after departure after suffering a technical problem.

As passengers were preparing to disembark after landing, the aircraft began to move and collided with the building. One passenger is reported to have died in the accident.