The helicopter was dispatched to help in the search in a national park near the border with Angola, the Namibia Press Agency reported. Flight TM470 from Maputo, the Mozambican capital, did not land as scheduled in Luanda, the Angolan capital, on Friday afternoon, and the airline initially said the plane may have landed in Rundu, in northern Namibia.
“We are trying to locate the plane, but so far we found nothing,” the Namibian agency quoted Deputy Commissioner Willy Bampton as saying. “The area is vast, and there are no roads and the park is bushy. So, it is very difficult to locate the scene.”
Mozambique Airlines said Saturday that the plane was carrying 27 passengers, including 10 Mozambicans, nine Angolans, five Portuguese, and one citizen each from France, Brazil and China. Earlier, it said six crew members were on board.
The airline said it was coordinating with aviation authorities in Namibia, Botswana and Angola in order to locate the missing plane.
The search was being conducted in the Bwabwata National Park in Namibia’s Kavango East region. Several thousand people as well as elephants, buffalo and other animals live in the park, which covers 6,100 square kilometers (2,360 square miles).