No Survivors in Malawi VP’s Plane Crash: President

Tue Jun 11 2024
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LILONGWE, Malavi:  Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera announced Tuesday that there were no survivors in the plane crash involving Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others. The plane crashed into a forest, resulting in a tragic loss.

“The plane has been found and I am deeply saddened and sorry to inform you all, it has turned out to be a terrible tragedy,” President Chakwera stated in a televised address.

Earlier, Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera has committed all available resources to the search operation for a missing military aircraft carrying Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others.

The plane, which departed from Lilongwe at 9:00 am, failed to land in Mzuzu due to poor weather conditions. Former first lady Shanil Dzimbiri was also among the passengers.

During a televised address, Chakwera assured the nation of his dedication to finding the aircraft and holding onto hope for survivors. He emphasized that search efforts were ongoing and dismissed claims that the operations had been halted for the night. Soldiers continue to scour the area, utilizing torches and conducting searches on foot.

The plane lost contact after being advised to return to Lilongwe because of poor visibility. Chakwera has mobilized regional and national forces for an immediate search and rescue mission. He has also reached out to international allies, including the US, Britain, Norway, and Israel, for support and specialized technologies to aid in the search.

A telecommunication signal has pinpointed the aircraft within a 10-kilometer radius of Riaply, a timber milling area south of Mzuzu. Unconfirmed reports suggest eyewitnesses saw a plane crash in a nearby forest.

Vice President Chilima, first elected in 2014, is a popular figure in Malawi, especially among the youth. His tenure has been marked by controversy, including a bribery scandal for which he was arrested in 2022, though charges were dropped last month.

Chakwera has canceled his planned visit to the Bahamas to focus on the search efforts and remains hopeful for a positive outcome.

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