Escaped crocodile caused 20 to die in plane crash
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An escaped crocodile once caused 20 people to die in a plane crash, leaving just one surviving passenger.
On 25 August 2010, the Filair Let L-410 flight took off from Kinshasa, Congo, with stops scheduled in Kiri, Bokoro, Semendwa, and Bandundu.
While take-off was pretty standard, tragedy struck when the plane crashed into a house, 1.2 miles short of the runway at Bandundu.
18 passengers and two pilots were killed, leaving just one survivor.
While false reports from a radio station led people to believe that the aircraft had run out of fuel, the cause of the crash was far crazier.
The sole survivor explained what happened that fateful day and that it wasn't a fuel shortage but a passenger smuggling a crocodile on board that caused the crash.
According to the survivor, the crocodile was concealed in a duffle bag and hidden from the passengers and crew.
However, it escaped mid-flight and made its way around the cabin, causing chaos on board.
Naturally, the people panicked and began to run to the front of the plane, which only caused more problems.
The surviving passenger said: "The terrified air hostess hurried towards the cockpit, followed by the passengers."
The rush to the front caused an uneven distribution of weight in the aircraft, which messed with the plane's centre of gravity.
Unfortunately, this caused the crew to lose control of the plane as they were unable to compensate for the uneven weight distribution, which ended up crashing and killing a mass of people.
The crocodile survived the crash but was killed with a machete by authorities shortly after, according to reports.
When asked if crashes caused by an off-centre point of gravity were rare, safety consultant John Cox told ABC: "It's possible. It's remote.
"You could run the center of gravity forward where it wouldn't be controllable. Twenty people at 200 pounds each, it's possible."
The Flight Aviation Administration adds that adhering to weight limits and distribution is essential to inflight safety: "Compliance with the weight and balance limits of any aircraft is critical to flight safety. Operating above the maximum weight limitation compromises the structural integrity of an aircraft and adversely affects its performance. Operation with the center of gravity (CG) outside the approved limits results in control difficulty."
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677