BFF-52 Plane crash kills 19 in South Sudan: regional official

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SSUDAN-ACCIDENT 3RD LEAD

Plane crash kills 19 in South Sudan: regional official

JUBA, Sept 9, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Nineteen people were killed on Sunday 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. “The whole town is
in shock, the shops are closed, some people have taken their relatives for
burial. It is a commercial plane that crashed,” Abel told AFP. “When the
plane was landing the weather was foggy and this was not a good situation for
plane landing.”

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.

In 2017, 37 people had a miraculous escape after their plane hit a fire
truck on a runway in northwestern Wau before bursting into flames.

South Sudan was plunged into civil war in December 2013, when President
Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of planning a coup, leaving
tens of thousands dead and millions displaced.

BSS/AFP/ARS/1915 hrs