Plane Crash Blamed on Crocodile
Congo survivor says smuggled reptile caused stampede
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2010 3:21 AM CDT
The croc had been smuggled into the plane in a sports bag from which it managed to free itself, the surviving passenger says.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – The sole survivor of a plane crash in the Congo says an escaped crocodile is to blame for the tragedy. The crocodile had been smuggled on board in a sports bag and sparked panic after it freed itself, causing a stampede of passengers which destabilized the plane and caused the crash, the survivor says. Nineteen people, including the British pilot, died, the Guardian reports.

The crocodile reportedly survived the crash but was killed with a machete by rescuers. A British expert investigating the tragedy says that while it is possible that a movement of passengers to the front of the plane caused the crash, he's skeptical about the crocodile's involvement. "If this were the cause of the accident it is truly extraordinary," he said. "I would say it's extremely unlikely this story holds water, but I wouldn't rule it out completely."