Crash site Casablanca airport, Morocco
Airline Sabena
Aircraft Douglas DC-7  –  OO-SFA
Route Brussels  –  Lisbon  –  Leopoldville
Crew 9  –  0 survivors
Passengers 56  –  4 survivors


The crash

After a short intermediate stop at Lisbon the plane departed for Belgian Congo. When flying over Morocco the crew had to shut down one of the engines due to vibrations. The pilot asked Casablanca ACC for permission to make an emergency landing there. At 04:19 a runway 21 approach was attempted, but the aircraft did not touch down. Some 600 m past the runway threshold at a height of 5 m and with landing gear down and full flaps, full power was applied. The DC-7 then climbed in a sharp left turn. Reaching a height of 25 m, the plane stalled and at 04:25 it crashed into a building and caught fire.
The reason for the crash was due to an error of judgement in re-application of power when the aircraft was neither in the appropriate configuration nor at a sufficient speed to carry out the attempted safety manoeuvre.


The mail

Onboard the plane was mail from several European countries. A part of the mail was recovered. Nearly all large letters and parcels were completely destroyed in the fire that followed the crash. Some of the smaller mail items were burnt in the edges, but survived because they were bundled tight together.
Two different 2-line handstamps with French text ”SINISTRE / CASABLANCA” are known. But several items were forwarded without any crash markings.
Only one Nordic item from this crash is known to me – see the cover from Sweden below.





Examples of mail


Cover from Sweden with metermark GÖTEBORG 16.5.58 addressed to Leopoldville-Kalina, Belgian Congo. The much fire damged cover show no crash markings.
Thiesen Collection.