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Malawi's vice president and 9 others die in plane crash

The wreckage of the military plane carrying Vice President Saulos Chilima is located in a mountainous area in the north of the country after a search that lasts more than a day

Malawi's vice president and 9 others die in plane crash

Saulos Klaus Chilima. Reuters



AP

Blantyre (Malawi), June 11

Malawi's vice president and nine others were killed in a plane crash, the country's president said on Tuesday.

The wreckage of the military plane carrying Vice President Saulos Chilima was located in a mountainous area in the north of the country after a search that lasted more than a day. There were no survivors of the crash, Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera said in a live address on state television.

Hundreds of soldiers, police officers and forest rangers had been searching for the plane that also carried a former first lady after it went missing on Monday morning while making the 45-minute flight from the southern African nation's capital, Lilongwe, to the city of Mzuzu, around 370 kilometres to the north.

Air traffic controllers told the plane not to attempt a landing at Mzuzu's airport because of bad weather and poor visibility and asked it to turn back to Lilongwe, Chakwera said. Air traffic control then lost contact with the aircraft and it disappeared from radar, he said.

Seven passengers and three military crew members were on board. The president described the aircraft as a small, propeller-driven plane operated by the Malawian armed forces. The tail number he provided shows it is a Dornier 228-type twin propeller plane that was delivered to the Malawian army in 1988, according to the ch-aviation website that tracks aircraft information.

Around 600 personnel were involved in the search in a vast forest plantation in the Viphya Mountains near Mzuzu, authorities said.

Chilima was serving his second term as vice president. He was also in the role from 2014-2019 under former President Peter Mutharika. He was a candidate in the 2019 Malawian presidential election and finished third, behind the incumbent, Mutharika, and Chakwera. The vote was later annulled by Malawi's Constitutional Court because of irregularities. 

         


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