At least 17 killed in South Sudan plane crash

Yirol plane crash

A crashed plane is seen in Lakes State, South Sudan Sunday in this picture obtained from social media. The causes of the drama remain for the moment to be determined.

A small plane crashed into a lake in the center of South Sudan on Sunday, killing nineteen people.

One of the survivors, an Italian doctor working with an NGO, is in critical condition and undergoing surgery in Yirol Hospital, the minister said. This was believed to have contributed to the 2015 crash of a Soviet-era Antonov plane during takeoff in Juba, which left 36 people dead.

The plane was ferrying passengers from Juba International airport to the city of Yirol of which 3 of the passengers were internationals, a Ugandan and an Ethiopian who also died.

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"When it arrived the weather was so foggy and when it tried to land it crashed into Lake Yirol adjacent to Yirol town", Mr Abel Aguek, the regional government minister, said.

He said the Anglican Bishop of Yirol, Simon Adut, was confirmed among the dead.

"The whole town is in shock, the shops are closed, some people have taken their relatives for burial", Abel told the AFP news agency. The aircraft was described by officials as having 19 passenger seats and said it crashed while on approach to the airport in Yirol.

Several crashes have occurred in war-torn South Sudan in recent years.

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