Cabinet directs minister to inspect planes for airworthiness
The Council of Ministers has directed the Minister of Transport, Madut Biar Yel to inspect planes operating in the country for airworthiness after an Antonov 26 belonging to local operator crashed shortly after taking off from Juba International Airport (JIA) on Tuesday killing five people onboard.
The Minister of Information and Government Spokesperson, Michael Makuei Lueth said the cabinet in its regular meeting chaired by President Salva Kiir on Friday directed the Transport Minister operating to embark on thorough inspection of aircrafts to avoid such incidents.
Michael Makuei who said the cause of the Tuesday deadly plane crash was not known, also admitted that there were outdated planes operating in the country, saying it has compromised the reputation of South Sudan.
“…the Minister [of Transport] has already formed a committee to investigate into the issue [plane crash] and has been fully authorized to follow up the implementation to ensure that all the planes that are operating in South Sudan are properly checked,” he said.
“Some of them [planes] are actually not flying elsewhere except in South Sudan and this is very dangerous. So the Minister has been directed to make sure that all the planes that fly here in South Sudan are secured and this is for the security of our people and the reputation our country as well,” he added.
The Soviet-era antonov An-26 was transporting fuel for UN’s World Food Programme to Maban County in Upper Nile State when it crashed in Gondokoro few miles away from JIA and burst into flames which burned the bodies of its occupants beyond recognition, according to the aviation authorities.