Miracle flight: All 49 survived plane crash

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A passenger plane crashed and burned in Wau, northwestern South Sudan today, but all 49 passengers and crew survived, an airport official said.

The plane crashed on landing, said Wau's acting airport manager Stephen Youngule.

"The plane touched down and then jumped up again. The pilot couldn't control it," said Youngule, who is also deputy director of Air Traffic Services.

"I saw it until the very last moment before the fire engulfed the aircraft."

When the plane crashed, its door flew open, which allowed the pilot and rescue crews to get everybody out, he said. The injured were taken to Wau's hospital, said Youngule.

Former Labour MP David Shearer, now head of the UN mission in South Sudan, said peacekeepers worked with local emergency workers to evacuate passengers from the plane.

Peacekeepers from Bangladesh, Nepal and China helped in the emergency work, he said.

Continued below.

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The plane, an Antonov 26, carried 44 passengers and had five crew members, said Youngule.

Images appeared on social media of the plane with smoke billowing from the wrecked fuselage.

The plane was from South Supreme Airlines, a South Sudanese carrier. It was making a trip from Juba to Wau, in northwestern South Sudan when it crashed.

Most of the passengers were South Sudanese with two foreigners, one each from China and Eritrea.

Since 2013, South Sudan has been embroiled in a civil war that has killed at least 50,000 people. In late February, a famine was declared in the country and more than 1 million people are at risk of starvation.

-AP

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