Author: Chany Ninrew

A government investigation has revealed, the cause of the runway excursion by a cargo plane at Rubkona Airstrip in Unity State, was due to a ruptured tyre.

On Saturday afternoon, three crew members survived, when a Fokker 50 cargo plane crash-landed at Yoanyang Airstrip of Rubkona County in the flood-stricken state, North of the country.

Photos from the accident shared on social media showed an airplane smashed into a dyke near the runway, with visible damages on the left-hand wing tip, nose and cockpit.

The state Information Minister David Gai said the charter plane burst the rear tyre while landing at the Yoanyang Airstrip.

“According to the engineer, he said there was a technical challenge during the landing. The tyre exploded because he rushed between the airstrip to the dyke,” said Gai.

The information minister disclosed that the plane carrying food items to the UNMISS field office in the state missed the runway and veered about before crushing smashing into a nearby dyke.

“The cargo airplane which was coming from Juba and loaded with food items for UN staff working in Unity State. It crashed on the landing process after it lost direction. But there was no injuries and no passengers inside,” he stated.

The three crew members on board including the pilot, co-pilot and the engineer were discovered alive without injuries.

“You know our airstrips are flooded, so we build dykes around them. Instead of running on the runway, he run into the dyke and stopped.”

The cargo plane hired by UNMISS is reportedly owned by the ICON Aviation Limited in Juba.

In the recent years, gruesome plane crashes and runway excursions like in Unity State, are frequently reported in various parts of the country including the national capital Juba.

Last month, three crew members also survived when a plane crashed to a standstill while attempting to take off at Juba International Airport.

Juba Airport Director Kur Kuol said the Folker 27-60 failed to ascend before swerving off the runway and crashing to a standstill at the bushy edge of the airport.