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Final Death Toll: 14 Killed in EgyptAir Crash - 2002-05-08


Investigators have said the final death toll from Tuesday's EgyptAir crash in Tunisia is 14. Officials said the remaining 48 people who were on board are all accounted for.

Tunisian authorities say the pilot, the co-pilot, a flight attendant and an EgyptAir security guard were among those killed when EgyptAir Flight 843 ploughed into a hillside about six kilometers from the Tunis-Carthage Airport.

Tunisian authorities say at least 25 of the 48 survivors, including Egyptian television personality Mervat Ragab, are being treated for non-life threatening injuries. They say many of the other survivors either walked away unhurt or have been treated and released by Tunis area hospitals.

The Boeing 737 was in the process of landing when the crash occurred. Tunisian authorities say the weather was rainy, windy and very foggy. Seconds before the crash the pilot sent a distress signal to the airport control tower, and minutes later ambulances, security personnel and medical helicopters were on the scene helping to evacuate survivors.

One of the survivors, Marjess Hadada from Tunisia, said the plane encountered turbulence as is was preparing to land. Ms. Hadada said passengers felt jolts, but a crew member reassured passengers it was only clouds.

She said, suddenly "We saw sparks in the plane and then it hit the ground."

Ms. Hadada said she "grabbed her two children and got out of the plane through a gaping hole."

EgyptAir's vice president for safety, Shaker Qilada, said investigators from Tunisia, Egypt, and the United States, as well as experts from EgyptAir and Boeing, are coming to Tunisia to examine the cause of the crash. He said family members of the dead and injured are in the process of arriving in the Tunisian capital.

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