South Sudan plane crash kills at least 41 on board and on ground

JUBA: A Russian-built cargo plane with passengers on board crashed on Wednesday after taking off from the airport in South Sudan's capital, killing at least 41 people on the flight and on the ground, an official and a Reuters witness said.

A crew member and a child on board survived, presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told Reuters.

Shortly after taking off from Juba airport the plane came down on the banks of the White Nile River, leaving a tail fin and lumps of fuselage strewn in vegetation close to the water.

The plane may have had about 20 people on board, including crew and "probably" 10 to 15 passengers, Ateny said, but added: "We need to confirm how many people were on board."

In addition, he said an unknown number of people were killed on the ground as the Antonov plane crashed near where some fishermen were working. "We don't know the number of people that were killed on the ground," he added.

A police officer, who did not give his name because he was not authorised to speak to the media, told Reuters at the scene that at least 41 people died, but said the number could climb. The Reuters witness said he saw 41 bodies at the site.

Earlier, South Sudanese media had said the cargo plane carried five Russian crew and seven passengers. South Sudan Tribune on Twitter also reported two survivors, one of them a child.




At least 23 die in cargo plane crash in South Sudan capital

Associated Press

JUBA: A cargo plane has crashed near the international airport in the South Sudanese capital of Juba, killing at least 23 people.

Some of the victims are children, according to an Associated Press reporter near the scene said wreckage which was strewn on the east side of the River Nile.

Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said it was a Russian-made cargo plane destined for the Paloch oil fields in Upper Nile state. The chartered Antonov crashed shortly after taking off Wednesday morning, he said.

Planes could still be seen taking off and arriving at the airport in Juba on Wednesday as many people gathered near the crash site about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) from the airport.