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All but 1 of 50 survive plane crash in Darfur region of Sudan

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: A local official said that 49 people survived a plane crash in Sudan, 1 died
  • NEW: The plane was full of people flying to Darfur to mark a major Muslim holiday
  • NEW: The aircraft crashed after an explosion ripped through its side upon landing
  • Previous reports had put the death toll as high as 15

(CNN) -- A plane crashed while attempting to land in Darfur, western Sudan, killing at least one woman though most passengers walked away with minor or no injuries, according to a local government official.

The Tarco Airlines plane was carrying 44 passengers and six crew members when it took off west from Khartoum, Sudan, for Zalingei. An explosion erupted in the aircraft's side as it was touching down at 4:20 p.m. local time Thursday at the airport, said Abdullah Mohammed al-Amin, a commissioner for the district of Zalingei.

"Nothing is clear, at the moment, as for the reasons behind the explosion," said al-Amin, who was at the scene and talked to authorities involved in the investigation and recovery operations.

In addition to the woman who was killed, one person was seriously injured, and four others suffered minor injuries, according to al-Amin. The governor of the west Darfur state planned to accompany the body back to Khartoum, added al-Amin.

Previous media reports had put the death toll as high as 15, with news agency AFP citing hospital sources as saying six people were killed.

The full plane carried passengers were coming back to Darfur to join their families in celebrating Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holiday that commemorates the prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son for God, according to al-Amin.

Journalist Ismail Kamal Kushkush contributed to this report.