March 21, 2017 (JUBA) - Relevant authorities in South Sudan are probing the cause of a plane crash, which injured scores of people.
Officials said on Tuesday that they were making efforts to pinpoint the cause of the incident in which reports suggests that engine trouble and bad weather could have caused the bizarre incident.
According to an airline official who visited the scene of the crash on Tuesday, the aircraft involved in the crash had undergone regular maintenance, including an “A-check” certification in October 2016.
It remains unclear whether some lives have been lost or not.
Authorities said they are still carrying out the search and checking with the booking officials and from where the plane left to find out the exact number of people who were on board, but other officials said they have not found dead bodies after carrying out a search.
The governor of Wau state, Andrea Mayar Achor told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday he has been in contact with the senior officials of the national government about the incident and how the cause could be established.
“I have been in contact since yesterday after this unfortunate incident occurred with the national ministry of transport and the civil aviation of South Sudan as well as our security personnel to help establish the actual cause of this unfortunate crash,” said Achor.
He further added, “We want to get the true information about what caused the crash. And this requires formation of a technical committee to investigate the cause, which our national government is doing. We will also participate as the state government”.
According to Acho, preliminary reports showed the aircraft appeared to have suffered failure in one of its two turboprop engines just before the crash, but this is to be confirmed by the probe team.
“I have been getting a technical briefing and I have been told that there was no technical error or human error. The crash was caused by bad weather. But I don’t whether this is true or not. There will be a proper investigation and the technical team will provide details of the investigation”, he said.
He further added that he received reports that the plane left the capital, Juba, with at least 44 people with official tickets and some people without official tickets on board.
The director of Wau airport, Stephen Kejo there were no deaths, but seven passengers were taken to the hospital, with three in a critical condition. There were earlier reports that 25 people were in the hospital.
The plane had successfully landed in Aweil and was on its way back to the South Sudan capital, Juba via Wau town where it crashed.
The manager of South Supreme Airlines told reporters Monday evening that the plane crashed, but said there were no casualties.
He said that he has communicated with the South Supreme Airlines manager in Wau who said that all the passengers had been removed from the plane before it was destroyed by the fire.
Images emerging from Wau show the mashed debris of the areophane and a fire engine trying to extinguish the fire.
South Sudan presidential spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny released a press statement about the passengers of the plane but later retracted it after confirmation from the airline that the passengers had all gotten off the plane before it eventually burnt.
Ateny said he had not been fully informed about the crash and removed it once the details emerged.
The plane was carrying 49 passengers, 29 of them were taken to hospital for a checkup following the crash. Some of the victims are under treatment for shock, while others were discharged after a check-up.
Ateny said he received reports that the aeroplane crashed due to poor visibility on the runway which caused it to overshoot and accidentally knock a fire engine near the runway.
Meanwhile, the management of South Supreme Airlines has promised to compensate all the passengers for their lost properties.