South Sudan plane crash kills 20, including Anglican bishop

South Sudan plane crash kills 20, including Anglican bishop
Overloading and bad weather appear to have contributed to the crash of a South Sudanese airliner, which saw the death toll rise to 20 on Monday.
2 min read
10 September, 2018
Debris from a plane crash in South Sudan in 2017 [Getty]
A total of 20 people died in a plane crash in South Sudan carrying an Anglican bishop as well as four foreigners on Sunday.

Regional spokesman Taban Abel hiked the death toll from 19 to 20 on Monday, saying only three survived when the small plane crashed into a lake near Yirol, a town in the centre of South Sudan.

"Among the dead, 16 are South Sudanese nationals while four are foreigners including the pilot and the co-pilot, who are Sudanese. One Ugandan and an Ethiopian... also died in the crash," Abel said.

The Anglican Bishop of Yirol, Simon Adut, was among those killed as was a staff member of the South Sudanese Red Cross, while an Italian doctor and two children were among the survivors.

The crash took place as the plane tried to land in foggy weather Sunday morning, Abel said, with Radio Miraya posting images on its Twitter account of the wreckage submerged in water. 

An official with the South Sudan Aviation Authority said an investigation was under way but that overloading and bad weather may have contributed to the accident.

Officials said the plane was a 19-seater but it was not clear whether this included crew seats.

Overloading of planes is common problem in South Sudan and may have contributed to a major crash in 2015 that killed 36 people.

Abel said the regional governor had declared three days of mourning.

South Sudan, the world's youngest country, spiralled into a devastating civil war a little more than two years after it became independent from Sudan in 2011.

Arch-foes President Salva Kiir and rebel chief Riek Machar are set to formally sign a peace deal at a summit of regional leaders in Ethiopia next week, a top mediator said Saturday.

Agencies contributed to this report. 

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