Lun01262015

Last updateLun, 26 Jan 2015 10am

South Sudan: Plane carrying relief supplies crashes

Khartoum, Sudan - One crew member was killed and three others injured when their plane, chartered to carry relief materials from Juba, South Sudan's capital, to the war-plagued town of Bentiu in the northern part of the country, crashed into parked vehicles during landing.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), which chartered the plane, said in a statement received by PANA in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, Tuesday, that the incident happened Monday afternoon.

IOM said the cargo plane's wings clipped two vehicles parked on the runway, causing a fire outbreak.

One crew member from the charter company was killed and three otherrs were injured, it said, adding that the wounded crew members have been evacuated to Juba.

“We are very saddened by this tragic accident,” IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission David Derthick was quoted as saying. “The members of the air crew have been vital in helping aid to reach some of South Sudan’s most vulnerable people.”

The organisation said it began an air operation on 31 Jan. to deliver aid to displaced persons in parts of South Sudan most seriously affected by the ongoing crisis, including the towns of Malakal, Bor and Bentiu.

It said the flights carry water, hygiene and sanitation equipment, medicine, shelter materials and relief supplies including blankets, kitchen sets, soap, buckets and mosquito nets.

Fighting broke in South Sudan almost three months ago between the central government and government opposition led by former Vice President Riek Machar, leaving hundreds dead and thousands displaced.

The two sides are currently engaged in negotiations, under the auspices of the African Union.

Fighting continues in remote parts of the country, including oil rich Bentiu state where the plane crashed, despite a ceasefire agreement reached by both sides.

Pana 18/02/2014