At least 41 people have been killed in an incident during which a Russian-built cargo plane crash-landed shortly after takeoff in South Sudan.
The casualties were caused when a Russian-built cargo plane crash-landed Wednesday shortly after taking off from the international airport in South Sudan’s capital city of Juba.
The chartered Antonov, heading to Paloch oil fields in the state of Upper Nile, went down about one mile (1.6 kilometers) from the airport’s runway on Wednesday morning, the United Nations-funded radio station, Radio Miraya, reported.
Presidential spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny, said the aircraft may have had about 20 people on board, including crew members and 10 to 15 passengers, adding that an unspecified number of people were killed in the crash on the ground.
He said a crew member and a child on board survived the aviation mishap.
Parts of the plane’s wreckage were strewn on the eastern bank of the White Nile River, which is close to Juba International Airport.
Meanwhile, a Russian aviation official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the Russian airlines that are engaged in aerial cargo transportation in Africa do not confirm that the crash cargo plane belonged to them.
“Preliminarily, none of the Russian airlines engaged in cargo transportation in this region has confirmed the loss of their aircraft or that the crashed plane belonged to some of them,” the source said on Wednesday.
The source suggested that the ill-fated aircraft could have belonged to an Armenian airline.