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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Cargo plane Antonov 12 crashes at Juba ~ a young boy survives !!!

A couple of months ago, President Salva Kiir of South Sudan, facing the threat of “immediate action” by the United Nations if he did not endorse a proposed peace deal, signed an accord with rebels  aimed at ending nearly two years of conflict marked by widespread atrocities.Since the start of the civil war in 2013, at least eight peace deals have collapsed before taking effect, and clashes between the warring factions were reported around the country even as the latest accord was completed.President Obama and regional leaders threatened recently to expand international sanctions and impose an arms embargo if the rival factions did not sign a peace deal.The civil war in South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, was set off by a power struggle between Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar.It quickly devolved into a battle fought largely along ethnic lines.

Days after authorities dismissed claims that ISIS brought down a Russian passenger jet, a U.S. intelligence analysis now suggests that the terror group or its affiliatesplanted a bomb on the plane.British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond said his government believes there is a "significant possibility" that an explosive device caused the crash. And a Middle East source briefed on intelligence matters also said it appears likely someone placed a bomb aboard the aircraft.Metrojet Flight 9268 crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula after breaking apart in midair, killing all 224 people on board. It was en route to St. Petersburg from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

In an unrelated incident,  an Antonov An-12 plane heading to Paloch, Upper Nile State,  crashed 800m (half a mile) from the runway.In a statement, Ukraine-based Antonov said the plane had not been airworthy.It said the plane, which was built in 1971, "was is no state to fly because it failed to undergo timely technical servicing... that should have included work on extending its resources and exploitation timeframe", AFP news agency reported.South Sudan authorities warned that the death toll could rise as the debris was cleared.

Antonov-12 cargo aircraft crashed along the banks of a river around a mile from the airport in the war-torn country.  Death toll ranged from 25 to more than 40 as humanitarian workers and investigators began combing the crash site.  However, a child, who was no more than a year old, and an elderly woman were pulled out alive from fuselage.

The baby has astonishingly survived the crash and rescue teams plucked him from the mangled fuselage after the aircraft came down near a river, scattering debris and bodies across remote farmland.He was one of only two survivors pulled from the crash, but the other one later died.

The plane, which had been bound for the Paloich oil fields in Upper Nile state, was registered in Tajikistan and belonged to Allied Services Limited, said a spokesman for South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.  It was further confirmed by a  spokesman for the Armenian Foreign Ministry, that  five Armenian crew members died.  Besides, there was a Russian crew member who also died and 10 others on ground were killed.  The crash site was just 800 metres from the runway it took off from in the South Sudanese capital of Juba ~ and there reportedly were 12 passengers.  By some accounts, the old plane was over loaded too.  It is common for the security services to put family members on the cargo planes to Paloich even if they are not on the manifest, according to an Official of  a company that operates chartered flights across South Sudan.  Juba international airport hosts regular commercial flights, as well as a constant string of military aircraft and cargo planes delivering aid to remote regions cut off by road.

Many parts of South Sudan, which became an independent nation in 2011, have been hit by violence since December 2013, with government forces under President Salva Kiir battling rebels led by his former deputy, Riek Machar.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

5th Nov. 2015.

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