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Bishop of Yirol among the dead in commercial plane crash

19 dead in airline crash in South Sudan

The Bishop of Yirol is among the dead following the crash of a commercial airplane in South Sudan. The Eastern Great Lakes state information minister Taban Abel told Reuters the flight from Juba to Yirol crashed into a lake on 9 Sept 2018 on its approach to Yirol: “The plane crashed and killed 17 people and we have three survivors.”

“We have not yet established full details of the airline but what we know it is a 19-seater plane coming from Juba to Yirol this morning,” said Mr. Abel. “When it arrived the weather was so foggy and when it tried to land it crashed into Lake Yirol adjacent to Yirol town. It’s so sad. Many people on board are feared dead. We are still establishing details,” he said.

The Aviation Herald reported a the plane, a Let L-410 Turbolet manufactured by the Czech aircraft manufacturer Let Kunovice was chartered by a South Sudanese company South West Aviation. The manifest listed 17 adults and three children among the passengers, and three crew. An Italian, an Ethiopian, a Ugandan and 21 South Sudanese nationals were on board when it crashed at 9:00 am local time. Poor visibility is suspected as a cause for the crash.

Mr. Abel confirmed that the Rt. Rev. Simon Adut, Bishop of Yirol in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan was among those killed, including a government official and two army officers. The Italian non-governmental organisation Medici con Africa Cuamm wrote on its website that an Italian doctor named Damiano Cantone, who had been on his way to work at a children’s hospital in Yirol, was among the three survivors.

Fisherman were able to rescue the survivors and bring them a shore to safety after the crash. The accident is under investigation by the South Sudan civil aviation authority.

On its Facebook page, Juba International Airport released photographs of the downed plane and fisherman recovering bodies from the crash.

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