South Sudan: Another Antonov Plane Crashes in Abyei

A commercial plane with an unconfirmed number of people on board crashed in the Abyei Administrative Area on Tuesday morning, local officials confirmed.

The Antonov SP-402 crashed at the Agok airstrip, according to Chol Pour Chol, the commissioner of Abyei’s Rumamer County.

The local official said that the pilot and the other occupants of the commercial plane survived the crash.

“I am very busy now; we are now in the reception of National Minister of Education Awut Deng Achuil, “Commissioner Chol said.

The commissioner, however, did not specify the cause of the crash. It remains unclear when investigations into the incident would take place.

Mr Bith Ajak, a local chief in Abyei, also confirmed the incident.

“I went and saw it myself. It happened but no one was injured. It was the plane that brought Primary eight exams. It almost collided with the plane in which the minister was. But no one was injured and the exams are intact,” Ajak said.

Cases of planes crashing in South Sudan have been on the rise recently with the latest case being reported in November 2021.

A cargo plane crashed near Juba International Airport last November and left five people dead.

On 2 March 2021, a Let L-410 Turbolet of South Sudan Supreme Airlines crashed in Pieri, Uror County on a domestic flight to Yuai Airstrip, South Sudan.

In August 2020, eight people lost their lives, while a single passenger survived with injuries when a cargo plane crashed into a farm in the Kemeru area minutes after it took off from the Juba International Airport.

In 2015, 36 people were killed when a Soviet-era Antonov plane crashed just after takeoff from Juba.

In 2017, 37 people had a miraculous escape after their plane hit a fire truck on a runway in Wau before bursting into flames.

At least 19 people were killed in 2018 when a small aircraft carrying passengers from Juba to Yirol crashed.

Chol Mawel