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Mon 29 Mar 2010 09:43 AM

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Search for plane crash sheikh 'challenging'

UAE search and rescue team says tough terrain is making Moroccan search difficult.

Search for plane crash sheikh 'challenging'
STILL MISSING: Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. (Photo - WAM)

Rescue teams from the UAE are facing "challenging" conditions as they continue to search for Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is still missing following a glider accident on Friday.

The UAE Search and Rescue Team is in Morocco alongside international search teams after the sheikh's glider crashed into a lake near the Sidi Mohammed bin Abdullah Dam near Rabat.

According to news agency WAM, the UAE team said that due to the nature of the terrain, survey and tracking efforts were "especially challenging".

The pilot of the glider who was rescued after the crash is now in a stable condition, WAM added.

The aircraft of Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahayan, the younger brother of the ruler of Abu Dhabi, who is also president of the UAE, crashed into a reservoir 10km (6 miles) south of the Moroccan capital Rabat on Friday.

Sheikh Ahmed is in his early 40s and was ranked No 27 on Forbes list of the world's most powerful people last year.

His sovereign wealth fund is believed to have assets of around $500 to $700 billion, ranging from Citigroup bonds to a stake in Britain's Gatwick airport to residential property in major cities.

Few details have emerged about the accident except that the pilot of the craft was rescued after it crashed near Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah Dam.

Residents of the area said the sheikh was a regular visitor and that the Abu Dhabi royal family had a palace overlooking the reservoir, which is swollen due to high rainfall and estimated to be about 60 metres deep.

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Badia Bougaiz 10 years ago

I have seen the pictures published on the site suppose to be the pictures of the crash. The site showed are just lake pictures in the region of Rabat. If the plane crashed there and the pilote is fine, there is no way Sheikh is not to be found. That area is not deep and people swim in that area in very long distance. To me, is seems like something is not logic. I'm from that region in Morocco and from Rabat to Sale people can cross the lake swimming, even kids can do it. Unless he was traped in the plane and couldn't get himself out of the heavy plane, I don't see any other way he couldn't survive the crash. I feel very very bad for the family and all the people that knew him. I really hope he is safe somewhere and is just trying to find his way back to people to help him. That area is very croweded area, you can compare it to the lake in Bur Dubai. I really really hope he comes back to UAE safe.

Jahangir Lutfullah 10 years ago


Pissu 10 years ago

There is no mention about the glider plane in any news. What happened to the plane after the crash? Are the wreckage found and debris recovered? How come there is no comments from the pilot.... recovering in the hospital?

ANIS 10 years ago

I pray to God that Sheikh Ahmed is safe and sound in Morocco somewhere around the lake and hope that he will be back soon to join his family very soon. May God bless him. Since pilot is rescued and I have seen the pictures of the crash seen, there is no chance that Sheikh Ahmed is not found. I am sure that he is involved in lot of charity works, he will get unlimited number of prayers from the poor people.

RJK 10 years ago

From the pictures i have seen posted on the website, it appears that the aircraft was a microlight.....a similar one i had flown over the corniche in Abu Dhabi. It is just the pilot and passenger seated one behind the other; it is an open aircraft with no fuselage....like riding a cycle. If the pilot has been resuced over 3 days ago and is stable, why has his statements not been published about what exactly happened. Something is amiss.....Witnesses or even better a passenger rescued from the ill fated flight would be the best source to start the investigation....very strange how this is been published in the media... I hope Sh. Ahmed is safe but with each passing hour the possibility of survival gets diminished. I remember the search and recover operation that took place for JFK junior, the crash site of which was at sea. I'm sure that will the assistance being provided by all, we will have closure on this unfortunate incident.

Sami N. Ebeid 10 years ago

I wish also that he will be found a live. He had helped so many poor people around the world with his charity works. I wish him all the best and that God is with him.