South Sudan plane crashes, all passengers and crew survive

AP News
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Posted: Mar 20, 2017 1:27 PM

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — A passenger plane crash-landed and burned in Wau, northwestern South Sudan, but all passengers and crew survived, said an airport official.

The plane was landing but then crashed, said Wau's Acting Airport Manager Stephen Youngule.

"The plane touched down and then jumped up again. The pilot couldn't control it," said Youngule, who is also Deputy Director of Air Traffic Services. "I saw it until the very last moment before the fire engulfed the aircraft."

When the plane crashed, its door flew open, which allowed the pilot and rescue crews to get everybody out, he said. Those with injuries were taken to Wau's hospital for treatment, said Youngule.

Nine people were pulled from the debris alive, according to Eye Radio, a South Sudanese radio station and website. On social media, images appeared of the plane with smoke billowing from the wrecked fuselage.

The plane was from South Supreme Airlines, a South Sudanese carrier. It was making a trip from Juba to Wau, in northwestern South Sudan when it crashed. Most of the passengers were South Sudanese with two foreigners, one each from China and Eritrea.

Since 2013, South Sudan has been embroiled in a civil war that has killed at least 50,000 people. In late February, a famine was declared in the country and more than 1 million people are at risk of starvation.