On 05 August 2010 we reported that there has been reports of a plane crash at Harare International Airport involving a Boeing 767 and that there were no injuries but just casualties. We also added that the information we had received was also still no convincing and that we were getting conflicting information.
It has now emerged that the reported accident was a routine crash drill that the CAAZ was required to take and that reporting to news sources was also part of the process to see how they could handle such an incident. We do understand and stand by the CAAZ for taking this decision because again they have to display that they can handle information properly and also conduct their duties professionally in an emergency.
In other similar incidents, in 2002, a false report of an airplane crash at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport sent journalists rushing to the scene only to discover it was a practice drill. Also in 2006, Kenyan officials again told journalists that a passenger plane had crashed near a Nairobi airport with 80 people on board — but when reporters arrived, they found that nothing had happened. Nairobi saw similar cases in 2001 and 1999.
Whilst technology is blessing it is also a curse because you cannot control anything that is available out there good or bad. The news about the accident spread like a wild fire all over Twitter, Facebook and soon several reputable websites.
We can now confirm that the reported incident was just a drill and that there were no injuries or deaths.