Wednesday 12 June 2024 - 02:31

No Survivors As Malawi Finds Wreckage of Vice President’s Plane

Story Code : 1141198
No Survivors As Malawi Finds Wreckage of Vice President’s Plane
The remains of the military plane were located on Tuesday in a mountainous area in the north of the country, a day after it went missing in bad weather, Al Jazeera reported.

President Lazarus Chakwera later said in a televised address that none of the 10 people on board – including the 51-year-old Chilima – had survived after the aircraft crashed into a forest.

Seven passengers, including a former first lady, and three military crew members, were on board.

The plane left the capital, Lilongwe, on Monday but failed to make its scheduled landing at Mzuzu international airport about 370km (230 miles) to the north about 45 minutes later.

The president had then ordered national and local authorities to “conduct an immediate search and rescue operation to locate the whereabouts of the aircraft”.

Speaking on Tuesday, the president expressed sorrow that the rescuers had found no one alive.

“I’m deeply saddened, I’m sorry to inform you all that it has turned out to be a terrible tragedy. The search and rescue team has found the aircraft near a hill… they have found it completely destroyed with no survivors,” he said.

Chilima, serving his second term as vice president after swapping his support from Chakwera’s rival, former president Peter Mutharika, for the election in 2020, was seen as a potential candidate in next year’s presidential election.

That’s despite an arrest in 2022 over allegations of bribery linked to supply contracts for the armed forces and police,

However, a court dropped the charges last month after the director of public prosecutions filed a notice for the case to be discontinued. Chilima has denied wrongdoing. Critics claim that the case shows that Chakwera is not serious about his promises to fight corruption.