South Sudan: at least 36 dead in the crash of a cargo plane in Juba

photographe-afp-pu-rendre-ileAt least 36 people were killed on Wednesday in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, in the crash of a cargo plane that crashed on takeoff on an area of ​​agricultural hamlets.

A previous review reported 27 dead.

The aircraft struck a small island of the White Nile River, which runs about 800 meters from the end of the runway. “So far 36 bodies have been recovered,” said AFP Majju Hillary, communications manager of the South Sudan Red Cross, whose teams collect the bodies.

“We can ensure that this balance is final, because some debris is too heavy to be moved and require gear” that the site configuration fails to deliver, he continued, not excluding that of victims always found in pieces of the wreckage.

Two people survived, but one of them has since died, said Mr. Hillary.

An AFP photographer was able to go on the island, where only the white tail of the aircraft was still recognizable, placed on the ground, on the edge of a forest area. The rest of the unit was sprayed on entering, he seems in contact with the ground. Debris of all sizes – including a propeller and a piece of cockpit – littered the ground strewn with corpses lying in the middle of the load.

According to the head of the Red Cross, all the victims were on board of the aircraft and any person on the ground was injured while houses – intact – were visible a few dozen meters from the wreckage.

Local media, including the station of the local UN mission Radio Miraya, reported up to 40 killed, without giving a source.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry said that “five Armenians, crew members of the plane that crashed in South Sudan, are among the victims.”

According to Radio Miraya and Eye-Radio, a local station, the plane crashed while he had just taken off from Juba to Paloich, a town 600 km north of Juba, in the state of Upper Nile, one of the main battlegrounds of the civil war that ravaged South Sudan since December 2013.

“From the information we have is an An-12” that crashed in Juba, for his part told AFP a spokesman for the aircraft manufacturer Antonov. The Antonov An-12 is a four-engine civil and military transport, design and Soviet-made, commissioned in the late 1950s.

Antonov request access to the site

It can carry 18 tons of cargo and its crew is theoretically composed of five or six people. But it is common in parts of Africa that flying cargo planes to remote areas ship passengers.

“We have asked South Sudan to give us access to the accident site,” said the spokesman of Antonov. “It’s up to them. As a manufacturer, we can be invited to participate in the survey or not. ”

According to its registration and logo of its tail, the plane belongs to the company Allied Services Ltd, a trucking company, river and air based in Juba.

Juba Airport welcomes commercial flights, but heavy traffic of military aircraft and cargo planes, which carry aid across the country, the size of the Iberian Peninsula and virtually devoid of paved roads .

South Sudan is one of the world’s least developed countries. Ravaged by decades of war against Khartoum Civil, it declared independence in July 2011. But plagued by political and ethnic antagonisms to the head of the new regime, the youngest country in the world has plunged into a terrible civil war 15 December 2013.

The fighting and atrocities that accompany them were thousands of people and displaced two years over 2.2 million people, nearly a quarter of the population.

A peace agreement was concluded in late August between the belligerents, but fighting continues, mainly in the northern states of Unity and Upper Nile several hundred kilometers from the capital.

The Stopru