Cargo plane crash-lands in S. Sudan, 41 reported dead

People gather at the site where a cargo plane crashed into a small farming community on a small island in the White Nile river, close to Juba airport in the Hai Gabat residential area, on November 4, 2015. © Charles Lomodong
An Antonov-12 Soviet-made cargo plane has crash-landed near South Sudan’s airport shortly after taking off. 41 people have been killed on board and on the ground.

The crashed plane may have had about 20 crew and passengers, two of which survived, according to the South Sudanese president’s spokesman. Also, others on the ground may have been killed.

Reuters says its eyewitness has counted over 40 bodies at the crash site, but it is unclear how many of those were on board.

A South Sudanese presidential representative has stated that there were 12 passengers and six crewmembers on board, five of them Armenian and one Russian.

A conflicting report suggested that 50 people were onboard the plane, the South Sudan Tribune said, citing local authorities.

The plane was owned by the local Allied Services air carrier, and was 45 years old. 

An unidentified police officer near the scene told Reuters that there were two survivors, including a child, but could not say how many people were on board or give further details.

A woman and seven children are among the victims, the local National Courier media outlet reported.

The agency's eyewitness saw aircraft lying across the White Nile River, Reuters reports. According to the local radio station's Twitter feed, the crash occurred around 800 meters from Juba airport.

Experts at the scene have said the crash was likely caused by overloading or a technical error, the South Sudan Tribune reported.

The plane was headed to Paloich in the Upper Nile region, a source told the National Courier.