Cargo plane crashes killing five in Juba

Cargo plane crashes killing five in Juba

At least five people were confirmed dead after a cargo plane crashed at Gondokoro Island after takeoff from Juba International Airport today morning.

The plane crashed shortly after flying over the River Nile.

“We have collected five bodies burned beyond recognition. We will hand the bodies to the authorities,” South Sudan Red Cross commented on its Facebook.

“All the four crew members plus the owner of the cargo got killed…no one survived,” Kur Kuol, the director of Juba International Airport told The City Review.

He said the crashed plane belongs to Optimum Aviation but was hired by Airline Aviation.

Kur said the plane was routed to Maban County of Upper Nile State, loaded with fuel and other goods.

“We do not know what happened but right now the airport investigation team is on the ground to find out what went wrong,” he cited. 

Juba County commissioner, Joseph Charles, who visited the scene, lamented over the incident which he said should raise alarm especially after the previous plane crashes in the country.

“Right now, the information I got here is that people who were in the plane are no more…no one has been rescued including the items; all have been damaged. It is really regrettable to lose our dear ones,” he told The City Review.

“As Juba County Commissioner, I convey our condolences to the families of victims, and we encourage them to be strong as they mourn their loved ones,” Commissioner Charles said.

Previous accidents

This is the latest plane crash to join another long chain of similar incidents that have happened in the country without a clear investigation to unearth the errors that lead to the accidents.

In August 2020, a cargo plane belonging to a local operator crashed in Juba killing four passengers and three crew members.

The plane crashed in the Kameru neighbourhood, shortly after its early morning take-off on a Saturday from Juba International Airport.

In March this year, at least 10 people, including the two pilots, died when a plane crashed at an airstrip, Pieri Village, in Jonglei state.

On May 21, 2021, the South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) temporarily banned all airlines in the country from operating pending further investigations and instructions that accept UN and Military aircraft, the Antonov An-26.