Runaway Crocodile Blamed for Plane Crash

An escaped crocodile may have caused a plane crash which killed a British man and 19 other people, according to the sole survivor.

The reptile apparently freed itself from a bag, sparking a stampede of panicking passengers on the flight over the Democratic Republic of Congo.

At the time the presumed cause of the crash was a "lack of fuel" -- but it has now emerged the rush of people could have tipped the small Let-410 plane off balance and caused it to plummet to the ground on August 25.

The new details have been revealed by African magazine Jeune Afrique, which reported evidence given by the sole survivor, whose identity is unknown.

The British pilot, First Officer Chris Wilson, from Shurdington in Gloucestershire, was among the 20 killed as the plane smashed into a house close to its destination airport in Bandundu city.

Generally viewed as being in a chronic state of disrepair, Wilson had apparently expressed concern about the Czech-built Let-410 before the crash.

"He told me they are blacklisted by the licensing authority," his friend Roger Bailey told The Sun.

Tim Atkinson, of the Air Accidents Investigations branch of the Department for Transport, who is dealing with the accident from the U.K., has said although the crocodile being the cause is unlikely, he "wouldn't rule it out completely".

He added: "If this were the cause it is truly extraordinary."