Salva Kiir, President of Southern Sudan, has this morning survived a plane crash at the Gulu airfiled in northern Uganda. The accident occured when one of the tyres of the plane he was travelling in burst.
Salva Kiir spent last night in the Gulu town of northern Uganda after meeting with president Museveni yesterday. They met to discuss issues concerning border disputes betwen Ugandans and southern Sudanese living in border towns in the two countries..
According to one of the Airfield workers, John Okello, who witenessed the accident, the plane developed a mechanical problem as it was taxiing out of the airfield.
Okello said, ”It is a big Antonov 74 cargo plane. Salva Kiir and other Southern Sudan officials boarded it at around 9.00 am today morning. As it was taxiing out of the airfield one of the tyres burst. The plane swung sideways sevearl times but the pilot later brought it under control. No one was injured.”
The area police commander, Aziku Zata confirmed the incident. Zata said, “It was a mechanical problem. There was no sabotage whatsoever.”
He said that another plane from southern Sudan was on its way to Gulu airfield to collect the president and his group.
Southern Sudan is prone to plane crashes due to old planes. The airworthiness of some of the planes operating in the southern Sudanese region have often been questioned.
Last year a minister and several army senoir officers died when a plane crashed 300 kms north of the southern Sudanese city of Juba.