Medevac plane with seven on board disappears off Senegal

DAKAR (Reuters) – A medical evacuation plane with seven people on board, including a French patient, disappeared off the coast of Senegal on Saturday night during a flight from Burkina Faso to Dakar, the Senegalese civil aviation authority said on Sunday.

The private Senegalair plane from Ouagadougou disappeared from radar screens at 7:08 p.m. (3:08 pm ET), 118 km (74 miles) west of Dakar, the Senegalese capital, it said in a statement.

“The army has sent out two planes and a naval vessel to look for the plane,” said a Senegalese military source.

The plane was carrying three crew members, a doctor and two nurses as well as the patient. Those on board included two Algerians and a citizen of Congo, although the aviation authority did not specify whether this meant the Democratic Republic of Congo or Republic of Congo.

The plane, chartered by SOS Medicin Senegal, had left Ouagadougou at 4:30 p.m. (1630 GMT), Burkina Faso’s Minister of Transport, Daouda Traore, told Reuters. Ouagadougou is around 1,700 km (1,100 miles) southeast of Dakar.

(Reporting by Diadie Ba in Dakar and Nadoun Coulibaly in Ouagadougou; Writing Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Kevin Liffey)