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All 49 passengers, crew survive 'miraculous' crash landing in South Sudan

The South Supreme Airlines plane reportedly landed safely but because of bad weather, missed the line and hit a fire truck.

Bad weather caused a plane to crash into a fire truck upon landing, bursting into flames in South Sudan.

There were 49 people on board the plane belonging to South Supreme Airlines when it landed in the northwestern town of Wau from the capital Juba.

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

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"The aircraft landed safe ... but because of bad weather, the plane missed the line and hit a truck belonging to the fire brigade," said Gabriel Ngang Maduok, a station manager with the carrier told Reuters.

"We have identified four people who were injured, including one crew member who are now at Wau hospital for treatment," he told journalists.


On social media, images appeared of the plane with smoke billowing from the wrecked fuselage.

When the plane crashed, its door flew open, which allowed the pilot and rescue crews to get everybody out, Youngule said.

The plane, an Antonov 26, carried 44 passengers and had five crew members.

UN peacekeepers worked with local emergency workers to evacuate passengers from the plane, according to David Shearer, head of the UN mission in South Sudan. Peacekeepers from Bangladesh, Nepal and China helped in the emergency work, he said.

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.

"It is miraculous, completely," the South Sudanese presidential spokesperson said. "There are only minor injuries. There was no single death."

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.




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