June 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

Saulos Chilima: The plane of the Vice President of Malawi has disappeared

Saulos Chilima: The plane of the Vice President of Malawi has disappeared



CNN

A plane carrying Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine other people has disappeared after failing to make a scheduled landing on Monday, according to the presidential office.

The Malawi Defense Force plane carrying Chilima and others left the capital, Lilongwe, at 9:17 a.m. local time (3:17 a.m. Eastern time), the presidential office and cabinet said in a statement.

The plane was scheduled to land at Mzuzu International Airport, about 380 kilometers north of Lilongwe, but it did not arrive and could no longer be detected by radar, according to authorities.

The presidential statement said, “All efforts made by aviation authorities to contact the plane since it went out of radar range have so far failed.”

“As such, the Commander of the Malawi Defense Forces, General Valentino Ferri, informed His Excellency Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera of the incident, and the President has since canceled his scheduled departure to the Bahamas and ordered all regional and national agencies to take action.” The statement added that an immediate search and rescue operation will be conducted to locate the plane.

In a speech on Monday evening, President Chakwera said air traffic control in Mzuzu advised the plane not to attempt a landing due to “poor visibility” and bad weather conditions, and to return to the capital, Lilongwe.

Shortly after, the authorities lost contact with the plane, prompting a search and rescue operation, Chakwera said during a live broadcast on the official MBC TV channel.

Chakwera said communications tower signals reported the plane’s last known location in a 10-kilometre (6-mile) radius in a forest reserve, which has since become the focus area of ​​the search and rescue operation.

See also  Biden cheat sheet for Iraq PM meeting caught on camera – including instructions to 'pause'

He added that search and rescue operations “will continue until the plane is found.”

“I know this is a heartbreaking situation. I know we are all scared and concerned. I am also concerned,” Chakwera said. “But I want to assure you that I am not sparing any available resources to find that plane. “I hold on to every shred of hope that we will find survivors.”

He added that Malawi has contacted neighboring countries, the United States, Britain, Norway and the Israeli governments to obtain support in rescue efforts.

The United States offered a C-12 military aircraft to assist in the search, according to a statement issued by the US Embassy in Malawi.

“The US Embassy in Lilongwe is deeply concerned by the news of the disappearance of the plane carrying Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima and nine others yesterday morning,” the statement published on Tuesday on the X website said.

“We join President Chakwera in his prayers for the safety of all those on board the Vice President’s plane,” the statement added.

This is a developing story and will be updated.