• 23 Jun, 2024

African Vice President Helicopter Missing – Government

African Vice President Helicopter Missing – Government

Malawi Launches Search and Rescue Mission

The Lilongwe government said in a statement on Monday that a military plane carrying Malawi's Vice President disappeared from radar and failed to land at its destination.

Saulos Klaus Chilima and nine others were aboard a Malawi Defence Force helicopter that departed the capital for the northern town of Mzuzu on Monday morning. The flight was supposed to last just 45 minutes, but the plane never landed.

Presidential spokesperson Colleen Zamba said in a statement that "all efforts by aviation authorities to  contact  the aircraft since it disappeared from radar have so far failed."

Zamba added that Malawi President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has cancelled a planned visit to the Bahamas and ordered a search and rescue mission for the missing plane. According to local media, Chilima was on his way to the funeral of a prominent lawyer. Due to bad weather in Mzuzu, the helicopter attempted to return to Lilongwe. Witnesses claim it crashed somewhere in the Akasamugawa forest area.

Malawi is a landlocked country in southern Africa, between Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique, with a population of about 20 million.