June 13, 2024

MALAWI: Malawi Vice President and 9 Others Confirmed Dead In Malawi Defence Forces Helicopter Crash That Went Off The Radar Shortly After Takeof Like Iran President Helipcopter Crash.

He was planning to run for President in Malawi election's next year. (emphasis mine)
Oneindia News published June 11, 2024: TRAGIC! Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima and 9 Others Confirmed Dead In Plane Crash.

In a tragic turn of events, Malawi's Vice President, Dr. Saulos Chilima, along with nine others, has been confirmed dead following a plane crash involving a Malawi Defence Forces (MDF) helicopter. The incident occurred as the aircraft, a Dornier 228, failed to land at Mzuzu Airport in Northern Malawi at 10:00 AM yesterday.

The Dornier 228, a twin-turboprop short takeoff and landing (STOL) utility aircraft, departed from the nation’s capital, Lilongwe, but went off the radar shortly after takeoff. Despite immediate efforts by aviation authorities to trace the aircraft, all attempts to establish contact were unsuccessful. The crash resulted in the loss of all lives on board, including the Vice President, who was planning to run for the presidency in the upcoming general elections next year.
Al Jazeera English pubilshed June 13, 2024: Malawi observes 21 days of national mourning for Vice President Saulos Chilima. Malawians are holding a vigil for their Vice President, Saulos Chilima, who died in a plane crash earlier this week. 21 days of national mourning have been declared. Al Jazeera’s Malcolm Webb reports from Lilongwe, Malawi.
SABC News published June 12, 2024: Malawi declares 21-days of mourning period for Vice-President Saulos Chilima. Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera has declared twenty-one days of mourning following the death of the country's vice-President, Dr Saulos Chilima. Chilima and nine passengers passed away in an aircraft crash on Monday after it disappeared from the radar during a domestic flight. A number of leaders in the SADC region and beyond have sent their messages of condolences to the people of Malawi. SABC News Reporter Khayelihle Khumalo has more.

CBS News
written by Sarah Carter
Tuesday June 11, 2024

Johannesburg — Malawi's Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima and 9 other people were killed when the plane they were travelling in crashed in the Chikangawa mountain range, the government said Tuesday. President Lazarus Chakwera declared Tuesday a national day of mourning. It later became unclear whether Chilima's wife Mary had also been on the plane when it crashed, as initially stated by the government.

"Unfortunately, all on board have perished in the crash," the Office of the President and Cabinet said in a Tuesday morning statement. The confirmation came after more than a day-long search effort in a forested area in the mountains of northern Malawi. The military plane crashed Monday morning after it took off from the country's capital Lilongwe.

Chilima, 51, and the other passengers had been headed to attend the funeral of the country's former attorney general when their plane dropped off radar. Air traffic officials said the plane had been unable to land at Mzuzu airport, about 200 miles north of the capital, due to poor visibility, and the pilot had been advised to return to Lilongwe when the flight disappeared.

Addressing the nation on Tuesday, Chakwera said Chilima, along with seven military officers and two other passengers, were in a a small military plane, said by the Associated Press to have been a Dornier 228-type twin propeller plane delivered to the Malawian army in 1988. The AP ascertained that information by cross-referencing the aircraft's tail number, provided by Chakwera, with data provided by the ch-aviation website.

Some Malawian sources told CBS News later Tuesday that Chilima's wife had not been on the plane, but the government did not immediately clarify her whereabouts or condition.

Chilima, 51, had been seen in Malawi as a possible contender for next year's presidential election.

A somewhat controversial figure, he'd been arrested in 2022 on graft allegations, amid reports that he'd received kickbacks from a businessman for government contracts.

Chilima consistently denied the charges, right up until last month, when they were dropped by the national prosecutor, who filed a notice for the discontinuation of the case.

In a televised national address Monday night, Chawera told the nation that the search and rescue operation would continue until Chilima's plane was found.

"I know this is a heart breaking situation," he said, "and we are all frightened and concerned."

Several countries including the United States provided technological support in the search operation.

In a statement posted Tuesday morning on social media, the U.S. Embassy in Lilongwe said it was "deeply concerned by the news of the crash" and added an offer of "all available assistance including a Defense C-12 aircraft."

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