Reports from Yei in Central Equatoria State of South Sudan, say an Eagle Air plane has crashed. An eye witness, one Alema is quoted as saying the plane crashed while taking off from Yei aerodrome.
He says the airstrip’s runway has corrugations and could have caused the accident. According to Alema, the passengers and crew survived the crash although some sustained minor injuries.
It is not yet clear how many people were aboard the plane, operated by a Ugandan company. Neither is the identity of those who were on board. Pictures of the crashed plane are already trending on social media.
Yei is a besieged town with Sudanese rebels controlling vast areas around the town which is under the control of the government forces. There have also been reports of serious human rights abuses by both sides in the conflict in the area.
The Kaya-Yei-Juba road is presently inaccessible as rebels stage ambushes in areas under their control, making air the only safe and reliable way of going to and getting out of the town.
Eagle Air is Uganda’s leading airline that operates domestic and regional flights. This is perhaps the first major accident experienced by the airline. The management of Eagle Air could not be reached for a comment.
The Eagle Air crash is the second in two months in South Sudan. Last month a plane also crashed in the town of Wau in the North and the passengers and crew also survived.