A cargo plane carrying fuel for the UN’s World Food Programme crashed near South Sudan’s capital Juba on Tuesday, killing five people, according to airport officials.
The Antonov An-26 transport plane, which was built in the Soviet Union, crashed shortly after taking off from Juba’s international airport, killing everyone on board.
“One is a South Sudanese, two are Sudanese and two are Ukrainians,” David Subek, head of the South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority, told AFP.
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A cargo plane owned by the local operator was reportedly transporting 28 barrels of fuel for the World Food Programme to Maban, a district with over 100,000 refugees.
It crashed with a mango tree and caught fire, according to Kur Kuol, the airport’s director general.
“The people on board were burnt. They are in bad shape,” said Kuol.
The Red Cross of South Sudan confirmed emergency workers had recovered five bodies that had been “burned beyond recognition.”
South Sudan, a young country that gained independence in 2011 and has been mired in a hard economic and political crisis, lacks a stable transportation infrastructure, with plane crashes frequently attributed to overcrowding and bad weather.
President Salva Kiir suspended an airline on March 3 after one of its flights crashed in the country’s east, killing all ten people on board, including two pilots.
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