At least 17 people have reportedly been killed after a cargo plane crashed shortly after taking off from an airport in the capital city of South Sudan.
The deadly incident occurred near Hai Referendum residential area on Saturday morning, minutes after the ill-fated plane, belonging to South West Aviation, departed from Juba International Airport, China's Xinhua News Agency reported.
The report, citing Joseph Mayom, assistant professor at Upper Nile University, further said that only a passenger survived the crash and was rushed to hospital in critical condition.
“According to what I have witnessed, one person was rescued after screaming in pain and was immediately taken to the hospital. We have counted 15 people and two crew members, bringing the total to 17,” Mayom told Xinhua.
The Antonov An-26 cargo plane, which crashed at 09:00 a.m. local time, was en route to the cities of Aweil and Wau in the country to deliver staff salaries for an organization, Xinhua quoted Kur Kuol, the director of Juba International Airport, as saying.
“There are no more details I can give you right now but what I know is that it was a cargo plane carrying motorbikes, spare parts, food items, and NGOs staff salaries but there were no more people onboard,” Kuol further said, adding that the aviation authorities would investigate the cause of the accident.
Back in September 2018, 19 people lost their lives after a plane belonging to South West Company crashed in eastern Lakes Regions in South Sudan.