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10 Jun, 2024 16:29

Aircraft carrying African VP missing – government

Malawi has launched a search and rescue operation
Aircraft carrying African VP missing – government

A military aircraft carrying the vice president of Malawi has vanished from radar and failed to land at its destination, the government in Lilongwe said in a statement on Monday. 

Saulos Klaus Chilima and nine others were on board a Malawi Defense Force aircraft that departed from the capital on Monday morning for the northern city of Mzuzu. The flight was supposed to last only 45 minutes, but the plane never landed.

“All efforts by aviation authorities to make contact with the aircraft since it went off the radar have failed thus far,” presidential spokeswoman Colleen Zamba said in a statement.

The president of Malawi, Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, has since canceled his scheduled trip to the Bahamas and ordered a search and rescue operation for the missing plane, Zamba added.

According to local media, Chilima was traveling to attend the funeral of a prominent attorney. Due to inclement weather at Mzuzu, the aircraft tried to turn back to Lilongwe. Eyewitnesses claim to have seen it crash somewhere in the Chikangawa forest area.

Malawi is a landlocked country in southern Africa, between Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique, with a population of around 20 million.