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Search begins as plane flying Malawi vice president goes missing

A military aircraft conveying Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima has been reported missing after it failed to make a landing on Monday morning, the government said.

“All efforts by aviation authorities to make contact with the aircraft since it went off the radar have failed thus far,” the government said in a statement.

AFP reports that the plane, which took off just after 9:00 am local time (0700 GMT), was carrying 51-year-old Chilima and nine others.

President Lazarus Chakwera ordered regional and national forces to conduct an “immediate search and rescue operation to locate the whereabouts of the aircraft,” the statement said.

Consequently, Chakwera has canceled his planned working visit to the Bahamas to manage the crisis.

The disappearance of Vice President Chilima occurs amid political turbulence in Malawi.

In 2022, Chilima was stripped of his powers following his arrest and charges of graft involving a British-Malawian businessman.Related News

However, a Malawian court dropped the charges last month after Chilima attended several court appearances.

The nation anxiously awaits updates as search and rescue efforts continue to locate the missing plane and its passengers.

The event is coming barely 20 days after a helicopter crash killed Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

World leaders on May 20 2024 joined Iranians in mourning Raisi, whose helicopter crashed into a fog-shrouded mountain.

The late president, aged 63, his foreign minister and seven others died when the aircraft went down in a remote area of northwestern Iran, where the wreckage was only found on Monday morning.

They were all confirmed dead by state authorities.

Sourcepunch

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