The atom bomb and the crocodile

For a new book serialised today in the Telegraph Magazine, Snake Dance, Patrick Marnham and the film director Manu Riche travelled from the heart of darkness to the crack of doom: from a uranium mine in the Congo via Los Alamos in New Mexico, where the atom bomb was developed, to Japan, where in 1945 the bomb destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

En route, they learned that there are many ways to crash a plane in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which, according  to Africa News, “holds the word record for air crashes”. Among them is this:

“…you can fail to check the hand baggage at Kinshasa (2010) and allow a passenger to carry a small crocodile on board, packed into a large sports bag. The crocodile escaped from the bag during the final approach to Bandundu, causing a stampede of passengers and cabin crew on to the flight deck, where the Dutch pilot and his co-pilot, from Gloucestershire, lost control of the L-410 Turbolet – and all on board, except for one passenger and the crocodile, were killed.”


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