Foreign tourists killed in Botswana plane crash

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Eight foreign tourists were killed when their plane crashed after take-off near an airstrip in north Botswana's Okavango Delta, the country's civil aviation authority said Monday.

Four Swedes, two Britons and two French nationals were killed when the plane crashed and burst into flames on Friday, said Chris Nkwe, spokesman for Botswana's Civil Aviation Authority.

"The bodies are currently in hospital awaiting forensic examinations," said Chris Nkwe, spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority.

It was not immediately clear how many people were on board, but there were only four survivors -- a French couple and two Botswana nationals, according to officials.

The plane was heading to the island of Pom Pom, a luxurious safari destination in the north.

The French couple who survived the crash were airlifted to a hospital in Johannesburg, where they were treated for burns and other injuries.

The pilot of the plane was among the dead.

The respective embassies of the deceased have been notified, said Nkwe.

Sue Smart, chief executive officer of Moremi Air Charters, said the private airline in the Okavango Delta had temporarily grounded its fleet pending an investigation.

Nkwe said a team of investigators had been sent to the scene.

The Okavango Delta is a high-end tourist destination, popular with foreign visitors.

© 2011 AFP

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