“Oh my God... Crash of Global Airlines 737 airplane at PK 12 [Douala] a few minutes ago”. This message could be seen on social networks throughout 30 November 2016 in the morning. Immediately panic spread among WhatsApp and Facebook users. Despite the disclaimers issued by some posters with a rather dark humour, the rumour went round to the point a TV host relayed this “information” during a morning talk show on a local private channel. Even though he recanted, the harm had already been done.
The truth is that there was no crash in Cameroon on 30 November. At least not involving a 737 operated by an airline called “Global Airlines”. Through further research, we discovered that there is no airline simply called “Global Airlines”. There is however a Swiss company like the former Swiss European Air Lines, which became in 2015, “Swiss Global Air Lines”. There is also an American airline company called “Western Global Airlines”. But that is it.
As a reminder, the plane crash most remembered by Cameroonians is that of flight 507 operated by Kenya Airways between Douala (Cameroon) and Nairobi (Kenya). 114 people died in this accident when the aircraft had barely taken off from Douala. And that was on 5 May 2007, at Mbanga Pongo.