Casualties as Sudan military plane crashes: army

A Sudanese military transport plane crashed in the desert outside the capital Khartoum on Sunday, killing some and injuring others, the army said.

"The pilot informed the airport that he had a problem with one of his engines," before the plane went down west of Jebel Aulia, Sawarmi Khaled Saad, the Sudanese army spokesman, told AFP.

"There are some people killed and others injured," he said, unable to immediately give the toll.

Saad added that the Antonov was carrying military equipment from Khartoum to El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state in the far-west region where a rebellion began nearly a decade ago.

A witness said a helicopter ferried the dead and injured from the crash scene, which had been sealed off by soldiers, about 70 kilometres (43 miles) west of the capital.

Jebel Aulia is a popular recreational site about one hour's drive south of the Khartoum area.

Sudan's armed forces, which rely on Russian-made planes and helicopters, have experienced a number of aircraft losses in recent years.

In July, Darfur rebels said they shot down an Mi17 helicopter, killing seven personnel from the military which blamed a malfunction for the incident.

Last December, all six crewmen aboard another military helicopter died when it crash-landed and burned in North Kordofan state. The army blamed a technical problem, as it did in April last year when a helicopter went down in Darfur killing all five soldiers aboard.

by Jung Ha-Won © 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Oct 7, 2012