April 20, 2019

Scores injured as plane crashes in South Sudan

A plane belonging to a Sudanese airline crash landed at the airport in the northwestern town of Wau on Monday (20/03/17), injuring several passengers, according to Reuters.

Government officials and the airport confirmed that the passenger jet crash-landed carrying 45 passengers.

“The weather is not good. Visibility was not good up to now and (the plane) was landing from the east to west then it just crashed (off) the runway. The pilot I think was not seeing the runway well,” said Paul Charles, an engineer at Wau airport.

AFP reported that images circulated on social media showing thick black smoke billowing from the wreckage.

The plane was completely burned out except for the tail, clearly bearing the label of local carrier South Supreme Airlines.

“Right now we have the ambulance which has just come out from the airport and we have received 14 patients being rushed to hospital in stable condition,” said State Information Minister Bona Gaudensio.

It was not clear if the rest of the passengers were alive or dead.

“There were 40 passengers and five crew (on board) that is all. I don’t have any information,” said Gabriel Ngang, the manager of South Supreme Airlines.

A similar but fatal plane crash happened in 2015, when a cargo plane crashed on take-off near the international airport in South Sudan’s capital Juba, killing at least 36 people.

Two people were pulled from the wreckage alive but one of them later died, leaving a young girl as the only survivor, the Red Cross said.

The Antonov An-12 plane was heading to Paloch, Upper Nile State, and crashed 800m (half a mile) from the runway.

In a statement, Ukraine-based Antonov revealed that the plane had not been airworthy.

Reports indicated that the plane, which was built in 1971, “was in no state to fly because it failed to undergo timely technical servicing… that should have included work on extending its resources and exploitation timeframe”, AFP news agency reported.

A government spokesman confirmed that all of the plane’s passengers were from South Sudan.

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