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Plane carrying Malawi's VP missing: government

Malawi's Vice President Saulos Chilima. (AFP)
11 June 2024 13:00

Lilongwe, Malawi (AFP)

A military aircraft carrying Malawi's vice president Saulos Chilima has been reported missing after it failed to make a landing Monday morning, the government said.

"All efforts by aviation authorities to make contact with the aircraft since it went off the radar have failed thus far," the government said in a statement.
The plane, which took off just after 9:00 am (0700 GMT), was carrying 51-year-old Chilima and nine others.



The group was travelling from the capital Lilongwe over 370 kilometres (230 miles) to the city of Mzuzu for the funeral of a former cabinet minister.



President Lazarus Chakwera has ordered regional and national forces to conduct an "immediate search and rescue operation to locate the whereabouts of the aircraft", the statement said.



Speaking to a South African television station on Monday evening, Malawi's Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu said the government was awaiting further details on the incident from the army.



"At the moment we are keeping our fingers crossed and praying," he said.



Soldiers are said to be looking for the missing aircraft with torches and on foot in the Chikangawa forest south of Mzuzu, according to local media reports.



Various unconfirmed reports have circulated that eyewitnesses saw a plane crashing into the forest earlier Monday.

Source: AFP
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