Diamond Dealers Killed in Plane Crash

Five Israeli diamond dealers were killed when their light aircraft crashed in a residential suburb of Namibia’s capital Windhoek Jan. 11, according to media reports.
The Cessna 210 plane ploughed into a house and set it ablaze while attempting an emergency landing in which the pilot was also killed, Reuters news service reports.
Chris Merkling, a director of Lazare Kaplan Africa, told the Reuters that the men were employed by Lazare Kaplan International, the New York partners of Namibia diamond cutter Nam-Gem.
Israeli media and Namibian diamond industry officials named the five dead Israelis as Shlomo Zilberberg, Shmuel Zigdon, Amit Cohen, Ilan Hadadi, and Avichai Abarov.
Other pilots in the air around Eros Airport said they heard the pilot of the plane issue a May-day radio call around 1420 GMT on Friday, saying his aircraft was experiencing turbulence and was rapidly losing altitude, Reuters reports.
The plane was heading to a private game reserve 375 miles north of Windhoek, aviation industry officials reportedly said.
Nam-Gem, a joint venture between De Beers and the Namibian government, has been involved in a joint marketing agreement with Lazare Kaplan International since 2004, Reuters reports.