PLANE-Crash leaves all dead in Pieri

By James Atem Kuir

Ten people including two pilots were confirmed dead in a plane crash in PieriTown of Uror County, Jonglei State on Tuesday. Other unconfirmed sources had earlier given varying numbers of the people aboard the ill-fated plane.

Jonglei State Governor, Denay Jock Chagorfirst revealed the incident in a statement that a HK-4274 marked plane belonging to South Supreme airline crashed at Pieri Airstrip Tuesday evening about 5pm, killing all two co-pilots and 8 passengers onboard.

Juba International Airport Director, Kur Kuol Ajieu told Juba Monitor after the return of the investigators that 10 people comprising of two crew members, five women, two children and one male adult have perished in the accident.

“The number of people who were on board was ten. There were eight passengers and two pilots. There were two girls whose ageswere not mentioned, five adult women, one male adult and the two pilots, all of them died in the crash,” he said.

In another development over the same subject, the Chief Executive Officer of the South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority-the country flight safety regulator David Subek confirmed the crash to Juba Monitor saying ten people including two pilots have been killed in the crash.

“The team of investigators that went to the site of the crash in Pieri has become back. They have confirmed that 10 people including two pilots have died in the crash,” he said.

Upon arrival back at Juba International Airport yesterday, the team of investigators who were dispatched to the site of the crash refused to speak to the media and proceeded to GiadaMilitary Hospital with the bodies of the two pilots.

But Kur Kuol Ajieu had earlier in the day told Juba Monitor that the airplane crashed after one of its engines reportedly failed shortly after it took off from the airstrip.

He said the pilots tried to steer the plane back to the airstrip but the second engine also went off leading to the crash before it could land.

“Yesterday (Tuesday), at around 2pm the plane took off from here going to Pieri, just on a normal routine operation. Then, at around 5pm, the plane took off from Piericoming back to Juba but shortly after taking off, one engine went off, so the plane tried to return to the airstrip but the other engine also went off and the plane crashed,” he said in an interview with Juba Monitor, hours before the investigation came back from Pieri yesterday.

Several plane crashes in the past have resulted to deaths. Last year, 7 people perished whenA South West Aviation Antonov An-26 cargo plane crashed in Kemiru shortly after taking off from Juba International Airport.

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