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PLANE-Crash leaves eight People dead in Kemiru

By James Atem Kuir

A cargo plane that was destined for Aweil went down at Kemiru residential area about nine kilometers west of Juba International Airport on Saturday.

The plane which belongs to South West Aviation Company crashed shortly after taking off from Juba International Airport, killing 8 people and leaving another critically injured.

Speaking to Juba Monitor Yesterday, Juba International Airport Director Kur Kuol Ajieu confirmed that about 9 people were aboard the commercial plane when it left the airport.

“It was a cargo plane carrying some commodities. The total number of people who were in the plane was 9, and I know that there is one survivor is in the hospital,” he confirmed.

The Airport Director also said that 3 aircrew and 6 passengers had boarded the plane when it took off from the Airport. He also revealed that all the passengers except one, aboard the unfortunate plane were members of armed forces.

“There were six soldiers who were reportedly going for leave, I don’t know on what leave but there was also one businessman (the survivor) who is now in the hospital, in addition to three crew members,” he reported.

He stressed that all commercial planes from the South West Aviation Company have been grounded pending investigation.

“We have grounded all the aircrafts from that company until we are finished with investigations, no plane is allowed to operate from that company,” he said.

However, he did not disclose the number of victims who perished in the plane crash but identified the surviving businessman as Peter Nhial.

Meanwhile, a statement from President Salva Kiir issued yesterday on the plane crash in Juba put the number of people aboard the plane at 9 including the aircrew.

“There were six South Sudanese, one Ukrainian and two Tajiks. Of this number, one South Sudanese survived the crash and the other eight are now deceased,” the statement partly reads.

President Kiir added that he has instructed the Ministry of Transport to ensure International Standards of air travel safety are correctly followed.

“I am instructing the Ministry of Transport along with the Aviation Authority to adhere to international standard on the operations of aircraft when assessing airworthy of plane to operate in South Sudan. There have been too many air accidents in this country and it cannot be business as usual when it comes to safety of air travellers, because lives are at stake,” caution the statement.

 The President expressed deep sadness and conveys his condolences to the families of the victims.

In 2018, a chartered Let-410 UVP airplane from the same company crashed into Lake Yirol killing 22 people including an ECS Bishop.

Only four people survived that deadly crash.

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