19 killed, four survive in South Sudan plane crash

A handout image made available by Radio Miraya, shows the wreckage of the aircraft  as local fishermen use canoes to help in the rescue and retrieval efforts. — AFP photo

JUBA: Nineteen people were killed yesterday when a small plane crashed into a lake in the centre of South Sudan, while four survived, a regional official told AFP.

Regional information minister for the Eastern Lakes state Taban Abel Aguek said a plane, carrying 23 people, had crashed in the central town of Yirol as it came into land.

“The number of people we have confirmed dead is 19 people and four people survived,” said Abel, adding that two children were among the survivors as was an Italian citizen.

He said the Anglican Bishop of Yirol, Simon Adut, was confirmed among the dead.

The pilot and co-pilot, a staff member with the International Committee of the Red Cross, a Ugandan who runs a private clinic in Yirol, a government official and two army officers were also confirmed dead.

“When the plane was landing the weather was foggy and this was not a good situation for plane landing,” said Abel.

The UN broadcaster Radio Miraya posted a picture on its Twitter account of the twisted wreckage of the plane submerged in water.

Overloading of planes is common in South Sudan, and this was believed to have contributed to the crash of a Soviet-era Antonov plane upon takeoff in Juba in 2015 which left 36 people dead. – AFP

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