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It Turns Out An Escaped Crocodile May Have Caused Fatal Plane Crash

A fatal crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2010 may have been caused by a crocodile loose in the cabin.

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On Friday an inquest heard that a domestic flight which crashed just short of Bandudu Airport in 2010 may have been thrown off-balance by passengers trying to escape a crocodile on board.

Ross Kummer/Ross Kummer

Prior to the inquest, the crash which instantly killed the British co-pilot, Chris Wilson, as well as 18 passengers remained unexplained. However, at the hearing it was revealed that the only surviving passenger had seen a crocodile crawl out of another's passenger's sports bag and cause panic in the cabin.

"One of the passengers had hidden the animal, which he planned to sell, in a big sports bag," reported Jeune Afrique. "The reptile escaped as the plane began its descent into Bandundu. The terrified air hostess hurried towards the cockpit, followed by the passengers."

The report suggests that the movement of the passengers unbalanced the plane and it nose-dived before completing its landing.

"It was apparently quite normal for animals and chickens to be carried on the plane," The Mirror reports the coroner saying. "It was used like a taxi in this regard."

According to the Jeune Afrique report, the crocodile actually survived the crash, but was later "cut up with a machete".