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Opposition official accuses Akobo residents of looting crashed plane

Plane damaged after crash in Akobo, 3 June, 2016 (Courtesy Photo of SPLM-IO)

June 7, 2016 (JUBA) – Residents of Akobo East county of Bieh state (Greater Upper Nile) have been accused by a senior opposition faction of the SPLM-IO of allegedly looting items from inside a plane which crashed in the county on 3 June, 2016.

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Plane damaged after crash in Akobo, 3 June, 2016 (Courtesy Photo of SPLM-IO)

A chartered small plane owned by a private company crash-landed on 3 June inside town of Akobo East county. No casualty was reported among the crew and few passengers who were travelling in the plane.

The number of the passengers was not disclosed as well as the purpose for the flight to the remote Akobo East county, east of Jonglei state’s capital, Bor.

Koang Rambang Chuol, deputy governor of Bieh state which the opposition created last year from former unified Jonglei state, said his office had reached reports that money and other items belonging to pilots of the crashed plane have been looted by the residents.

“Bieh State Authority Condemns the reported looting following the plane crash in Akobo County,” deputy governor, Chuol, said in a statement he issued on Tuesday.

“Akobo East County authority acknowledged that looting happened but could not ascertain the amount lost as no documents on the loss items that were presented to the authority at the airstrip prior to the incident,” he said.

The undisclosed company that chartered the plane reported loss of money and other associated items including personal property for the pilots and the passengers.

Civilian residents in the county were blamed for rushing to the scene and looting items from the plane which experienced crash landing, resulting to severe damage of the aircraft.

Chuol said an investigation was being carried out by the state and county authorities to identify those involved in the looting in order to recover them.

(ST)