At least 25 dead after cargo plane crashes along Nile River in South Sudan
At least 25 people were killed today when a plane crash-landed shortly after taking off from South Sudans capital Juba, an AFP reporter said.
Police were pulling the bodies of men, women and children out of the wreckage of the cargo plane, which crashed into a small farming community on a small island in the White Nile river, close to Juba airport, the reporter said, who counted at least 25 dead.
Cargo plane heading to Paloch in Upper Nile State crashed just 800 metres from Juba International Airport runway, reported Radio Miraya, a UN-backed station.
The radio said as many as 40 people were feared dead, adding that airport officials had told them only three passengers had survived.
The main fuselage of the plane had ploughed into thick woodland, with debris scattered around the riverbank in a wide area.
Several small farming communities live on the island, and it was not clear if some of the victims were people who were on the ground when the plane hit.
Media reports said it was an Antonov transport plane, but there was no immediate official confirmation. Cargo planes to remote parts of South Sudan often carry passengers too.
Radmir Gainanov, spokesman for Russias diplomatic mission in Uganda, which also oversees South Sudan, said the embassy was in touch with local authorities, including the defence ministry.