South Sudan plane crash claims at least 19 lives


At least 19 people died in South Sudan when a small aircraft carrying passengers from Juba to Yirol crashed, an official said.

There were 22 people on board the flight that departed Juba International Airport, said State information Minister Taban Abel.
“The number of dead reached 19,” he told Reuters, adding a Ugandan and Ethiopian national were among the victims. Abel earlier said two people were missing.

One survivor, an Italian doctor working with a charity, was in stable condition and flown to Juba after surgery in Yirol, the minister said.

The plane crashed by a river and an eyewitness earlier said bodies were recovered from the water.

There were three children among the 22 passengers, another source said.

David Subek, Chief Executive officer of the South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority in Juba, confirmed the crash and told Reuters he did not know the death toll yet.

Several crashes have occurred in war-torn South Sudan in recent years. In 2017, four passengers were injured after bad weather caused their plane to crash into a fire truck on landing and burst into flames.

In 2015, dozens of people were killed when a Russian-built cargo plane with passengers on board crashed after taking off from Juba airport.