A cargo plane carrying passengers crashed-landed at Juba International Airport on Friday morning. All passengers are safe, according to the airport manager.
Kur Kuol, the Director General of Juba International Airport, told Radio Tamazuj that a cargo plane belonging to Aviation Company experienced a runway incursion, saying none of the passengers and crew members was hurt.
He explained that the civilians were being flown from Paloch in Melut County of Upper Nile State, pointing out that the passengers who survived the crash had fled the war in Sudan in the past few weeks.
According to Kur, the cargo plane was carrying hundreds of passengers.
“Actually, because these are emergencies, people are just put in the plane without a manifest. The number is not known exactly because people just went into the plane. As you know, the situation is not good in Khartoum. It is just an emergency, but the number of people can be 100 and something,” Kuol said.
“The plane left Juba in the morning and went to Paloch, and it brought people from Paloch, so this happened when the plane landed,” he added.
According to the director general, the crash was caused by rainwaters that covered the runway, making it difficult for planes to land.
“The runway has been overflooded because of the rains this morning, so it is half or 75 per cent of the runway, which is good, but it is very difficult for big aircraft to land,” he said.
The aircraft was reportedly hired by national MP and businessman Bibi Ali as a goodwill gesture to fly South Sudanese citizens who were stranded in Paloch town after fleeing violence in neighbouring Sudan.
Cases of planes crashing in the country have been on the rise recently, with the latest case being reported at Juba airport on 12 April.
South Sudan lacks a proper land transportation infrastructure, forcing people to move and transport goods by air.