Plane explosion in Sudan kills 13
A Sudanese cargo plane exploded while preparing to land at Wau airport in southern Sudan, killing all 13 aboard, state-run Omdurman radio repoted Tuesday.
The Antonov 12 was carrying food and money on a routine flight late Monday afternoon from the capital of Khartoum, and after obtaining permission to land, it exploded in the air about six kilometers from Wau airport, it said.
The plane was owned by the private Khartom-based Saria Airlines company.
Meanwhile, the company's General Manager Mohamed Abdel Qadir said the explosion killed all on board - six foreign crewmen, three security officials, Bank of Sudan official, a Saria engineer, a security policeman and a military policeman.
The crew was made up of four Armenians, a Russian and an Uzbek, the Saria chief was heard telling the radio.
He added that the plane was carrying commercial foods and an unspecified amount of money that was to be delivered by the central Bank of Sudan to its branch there.
The general manager said the reason for the crash for the time being remains unknown, pending an investigation.
On its part, the Civil Aviation Authority set up a team of investigators that is due to leave for Wau, in Bahr al-Ghazal state, on Tuesday to investigate the causes of the crash, the official radio said.
In the meantime, a spokesman for the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) said Tuesday that rebel forces were not involved in the crash of the Sudanese plane.
"The crash is purely an accident," AFP cited SPLA spokesman George Garang as saying.
"We are still observing a strict ceasefire and therefore our forces, which are some 36 kilometers south of Wau, were not involved in the accident," Garang replied, when asked whether SPLA forces were involved in the crash. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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