By Asma Al-Mohattwari
On Wednesday, a military plane crash near Change Square in Sana’a’s center resulted in the death of seven men, including pilot Mohammed Shaker, three women and two children.
The crash also resulted in the destruction of sizable portions of three houses. Following the impact, flames spread from the wreckage to surrounding cars, causing further damage in immediate vicinity.
Security authorities issued warnings to citizens that they must keep a safe distance, as spilled fuel and unexploded missiles presented a danger to anyone nearby.
Efforts to impose a security cordon on the area achieved mixed results, as onlookers from four different directions were seen hours after the impact standing near the intersection where the crash had taken place.
Riot response vehicles sprayed blasts of water on the crowds of onlookers, while soldiers wielding batons charged crowds which repeatedly approached the area surrounding the crash site.
Interior Ministry official Abdualrahman Al-Harazi said that while the crime scene fell under the jurisdiction of the Criminal Investigation Department, a number of soldiers from different divisions at the scene served to present a major obstacle to ambulances, which were delayed as medical workers attempted to transport injured people at the crash site.
Speaking with the National Yemen on Wednesday, Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Al-Maori told the National Yemen that the cause of the plane’s unexpected descent and crash had yet to be determined.
“We will form an investigation committee to uncover the accident’s circumstances. Warplanes should be prevented from flying over the capital,” he added.
An official source stated that the bodies of the deceased had been carbonized as a result of the fire caused by the plane crash.
Power lines were cut in the crash, leaving the surrounding neighborhood without electricity.