Another Russian Plane Crashes In South Sudan; 40 People Killed

A Russian plane has crashed shortly after taking off from an airport in war-torn South Sudan, reportedly killing 40 people.

Witnesses said the tail fin of the plane and other parts were scattered along the banks of the White Nile River near the airport in the capital Juba.

Disaster: A picture posted online purportedly shows a Russian plane which crashed shortly after taking off from an airport in South Sudan, reportedly killing 40 people on board

A police officer, who did not give his name, said at least 41 people died.

A witness also said he saw 41 bodies among the wreckage of the Antonov-12 aircraft which crashed just 800 metres from the runway.

A crew member and a child on board survived the crash, said presidential spokesman Ateny Wek.

Witnesses said the tail fin of the plane and other parts were scattered along the banks of the White Nile River near the airport in the capital Juba

He said the plane may have had about 20 people on board, including crew and 10 to 15 passengers, while an unknown number were killed on the ground.

The main fuselage of the plane had ploughed into thick woodland, with debris scattered around the riverbank in a wide area.

UN-backed radio station Radio Miraya said: ‘Cargo plane heading to Paloch in Upper Nile State crashed just 800 metres from Juba International Airport runway.’

The aircraft was a cargo plane with five Russian crew and seven passengers, South Sudan Tribune, a local media outlet, said on Twitter.

It also said two people survived, one of them a child.

Downed: The cargo plane was reportedly heading to Paloch in Upper Nile State when it crashed just 800 metres from Juba International Airport runway

Planes could still be seen taking off and arriving at the airport as many people gathered near the crash site about one mile from the airport.

The airport hosts regular commercial flights, as well as a constant string of military aircraft and cargo planes delivering aid to remote regions cut off by road.

Civil war broke out in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of planning a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings that has split the poverty-stricken, landlocked country along ethnic lines.

Fighting continues despite an August peace deal, but battles today are far from the capital.

The disaster comes just days after a Russian Metrojet passenger plane crashed in Egypt killing all 224 people on board.

 

 

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Credit: Daily Mail

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