Witnesses point to possible engine trouble soon after
The South African
Broadcasting Corporation has reported that an LET-410 Czech-built
aircraft has crashed in southern Sudan, killing sixteen of twelve
children who were passengers on the domestic charter flight, as
well as the captain, a native of New Zealand, and the chaperone who
was escorting the children.
Along with four of the children, the co-pilot survived the
The aircraft crashed shortly after taking off on a trip between
two towns in the Upper Nile province. All the survivors were taken
to a hospital for treatment.
The LET-410 was owned by a local charter company
and was operated regularly in Sudan, according to other aid
workers interviewed at the crash site.
The crash took place within an area involved in a war that began
in 1983 when rebels from the predominantly animist and Christian
south decided to take up arms against the mainly Muslim and Arab
The children were scheduled to attend special educational
presentations at their destination, as part of programs designed to
provide relief for the more than one million adults and children
displaced by the war.