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Search Continues as Aircraft Carrying Malawi’s Vice President Goes Missing

The Malawian defense force has launched the search and rescue operation for the aircraft that went missing on Monday 10, June 2024 carrying the country’s vice president and nine others.

In a press statement to media houses, the office of the president and cabinet informed the general public that the Malawi Defense Force Aircraft that left Lilongwe at 09:17 hours, carrying the Vice President, Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, and nine others, failed to make its scheduled landing at Mzuzu International Airport at 10:02.

“All efforts by aviation authorities to make contact with the Aircraft since it went off the radar have failed thus far. As such, the Commander of the Malawi Defense Force, General Valentino Phiri, has since informed His Excellency Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera of the incident and the President has since canceled his scheduled departure for the Bahamas and ordered all regional and national agencies to conduct an immediate search and rescue operation to locate the whereabouts of the aircraft,” read the statement.

The statement indicated that the aircraft of the Malawi Defence Force “went off the radar” after it departed the nation’s capital, Lilongwe, on Monday morning.

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The aircraft was scheduled to land at Mzuzu International Airport in the north of the nation.

President Lazarus Chakwera announced that a search and rescue effort was still underway in a speech made late on Monday.

“Soldiers are still on the ground carrying out the search and I have given strict orders that the operation should continue until the plane is found,” he said, adding that it was a “heart-breaking situation”.

“I know that we are all frightened and concerned – I too am concerned. But I want to assure you that I am sparing no available resource to find that plane and I am holding onto every fibre of hope that we will find survivors.” He added.

Moses Kunkuyu, Malawi’s information minister, told the BBC efforts to find the aircraft are “intensive”.

Chilima was on his way to represent the government at the burial of former cabinet minister Ralph Kasambara, who died three days ago.

“The airport he was to land, which is in the northern part of Mzuzu, was the closest to where the funeral was taking place.”Kunkuyu said.

The government further pledged to update the public of any developments on the situation as facts are established.

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