A plane crashed into a lake in South Sudan, killing nineteen people. There were four survivors. According to a regional minister, the plane was attempting to land in foggy weather.
A small plane crashed into a lake in the center of South Sudan on Sunday, killing nineteen people. There were four survivors including two children, according to a regional official.
Taban Abel, the regional information minister for the Eastern Lakes state Aguek, said the plane, carrying 23 people, had crashed in the central town of Yirol as it came in to 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 well as an Italian citizen.
Abel also confirmed that Simon Adut, the Anglican Bishop of Yirol, was among the dead.
The Italian non-governmental organization Medici con Africa Cuamm posted on its website that an Italian doctor named Damiano Cantone was among the survivors. Cantone had been on his way to work at a children's hospital in Yirol.
Radio Miraya, a UN broadcaster, had earlier reported him 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," Abel told the AFP news agency.
"When the plane was landing the weather was foggy and this was not a good situation for plane landing."
Radio Miraya posted a picture on its Twitter account of the wreckage of the plane submerged in water.
Abel described the plane as a 19-seater, but it was not clear whether this included crew seats.
A passenger manifesto showed 20 passengers. Abel said a child on the flight had not been recorded on the manifesto.
Overloading of planes is a common occurrence in South Sudan. This was believed to have contributed to the 2015 crash of a Soviet-era Antonov plane during takeoff in Juba, which left 36 people dead.
In 2017, 37 people had a lucky escape when 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. Tens of thousands have died in the fighting and millions have been displaced.
av/rc (AFP, Reuters)