Author: Obaj Okuj

An Antonov cargo plane carrying 12 people missed a runway and crashed at Agok Airstrip in Abyei Administrative Area on Tuesday morning, the Director of Juba International Airport has told to Eye Radio.

Kur Kol says all passengers aboard are reportedly safe.

They include five crew members, five teachers and two security personnel.

Koul said the Antonov 26 plane, owned by the Ministry of Defense, was carrying examination papers to Unity State when it missed the airstrip at 9: AM.

He attributed the incident to the bad condition of the Airstrip.

The plane took off from here (Juba) at around 6:00am travelling to Rubkona then to Ajongthok then to Agok where it made the accident”, Kur Kuol told Eye Radio.

“The issue was not actually technical, the issue was neglected by the authorities on ground because there were potholes on the runway”, Kuol stated.

However, the spokesperson of the South Sudan Peoples’ Defense Force says Major General, Lul Ruai  the Antonov does not belong to military headquarters.

“I have no information on the ownership, I just heard that there was a plane that crashed and I don’t know who owns it”, Lul Ruai denied.

Last year, the Civil Aviation Authority withdrew the license of several Antonov planes and ordered their owners to fly them out of South Sudan.

The Aviation Authority also warned two AN-26 planes owned by the South Sudan Air force flying with foreign civil registration to change to the military or else face a ban by the aviation authority.

The Russian Antonov AN-26s, which were manufactured in1969 – have been black listed by the Flights Safety foundation in 2006.

Since its independence in 2011, many planes have crashed in the country killing about 100 people.

On 2nd November 2021, an Antonov crashed on Gondokoro Island, shortly after take-off from Juba International Airport –killing all the five crew members.