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Malawi vice president confirmed dead after wreckage of missing plane found

Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima,left, and his wife Mary disembark from a plane upon his return from South Korea in Lillongwe, Sunday, June 9, 2024.
Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima,left, and his wife Mary disembark from a plane upon his return from South Korea in Lillongwe, Sunday, June 9, 2024. Copyright STR/AP
Copyright STR/AP
By Euronews with AP
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Malawi's Vice President Saulos Chilima has been killed in a plane crash, the president said on Tuesday, after searchers located the wreckage of the airplane.

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Malawi's vice president Saulos Chilima has been confirmed dead along with nine others, after their missing military plane was located by armed forces.

Malawi's President Lazarus Chakwera announced in a live address on Tuesday that the plane had been completely destroyed and everyone onboard was killed on impact.

Former first lady Shanil Dzimbiri, the ex-wife of former President Bakili Muluzi, was also on the plane, the president had said. There were seven passengers and three military crew members onboard.

The aircraft was found wrecked in a foggy forest by search teams. It disappeared during its 45-minute flight from Lilongwe, the capital, to Mzuzu, located approximately 370 kilometers to the north.

Air traffic controllers told the plane not to attempt a landing at Mzuzu's airport because of bad weather and poor visibility and asked it to turn back to Lilongwe, Chakwera said in an address late Monday night. Air traffic control then lost contact with the aircraft and it disappeared from radar, he said.

Chakwera expressed his thanks for assistance from the US, the UK, Norway, and Israel, who provided specialised technologies to aid in the search.

The group was traveling to Mzuzu to attend the funeral of a former government minister. Chilima had just returned from an official visit to South Korea on Sunday.

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