Bishop of Yirol and nineteen others die in plane crash in South Sudan.
Nineteen people, including the Anglican Bishop of Yirol, Simon Adut, have been killed in a plane crash in South Sudan on Sunday 9 September, the regional government minister, Mr Abel Aguek, has said. “When it arrived the weather was so foggy and when it tried to land it crashed into Lake Yirol adjacent to Yirol town,” Abel Aguek confirmed.
The light plane had 22 people on board flying from Juba International Airport to Yirol on Sunday morning. An AFP report said only four people, including two children and an Italian doctor, Damiano Cantone, working with Medici con Africa Cuamm, a charity organisation, survived the crash. The doctor is said to have been flown to Juba after a surgery in Yirol, Aguek said. State Information Minister Taban Abel added that a Ugandan and a Ethiopian national were among the victims. “The whole town is in shock, the shops are closed, some people have taken their relatives for burial. It is a commercial plane that crashed,” Abel said.
Poor safety and overloading is common in the young nation torn by war since 2013 when South Sudan got its independence from Sudan. 37 people miraculously escaped death, last year, when their plane hit a fire truck on a runway in northwestern Wau before bursting into flames.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos.