A smuggled crocodile is said to have caused a brutal plane crash that left nearly every passenger dead – and the beast itself somehow survived.
The bizarre, reptile-based disaster onboard the Filair Let L-410 flying to Democratic Republic of Congo proved a terrifying experience for passengers who encountered the scaled creature on-board. the flight on August 25 2010.
But the smuggled crocodile was the tip of the iceberg for a number of mysteries that stemmed from the fatal flight, including a crash that ended with no explosion, leading some to believe fuel exhaustion could be a factor.
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Investigations agreed though that the main cause of the crash was a crocodile, stuffed into a duffel bag and brought on board the flight.
According to sources at the time of the 2010 crash, nobody on the ground was injured in a crash that occurred due to passengers realising a crocodile was on board.
A total of 19 people were killed instantaneously upon impact, with two injuries, one of whom was taken to hospital where they died of their injuries.
When it was revealed a crocodile had been smuggled on board and escaped the bag shortly before landing, panicked passengers rushed towards the cockpit along with the flight attendant.
The shift in the aircraft's centre of gravity led to the horror crash, as passengers tried to escape the smuggled-on reptile.
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The loss of control that led to the death of 20 of those on board was, an investigation revealed, not because of low fuel levels, but because everyone on board had ran from the crocodile.
While the nameless crocodile survived the crash, it did not survive the machete blow it received upon landing, with one person taking it upon themselves to kill the croc.
Among the dead was a British pilot, as well as an unnamed passenger who had brought the reptile on board, reportedly with the intent of selling the reptile when they had touched down.
At the time of the incident, NBC News reported that most Congolese aircraft were made up of badly maintained Soviet-era craft with worryingly poor safety history.
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