Child Killed When WFP-Contracted Aircraft Hits House In South Sudan

Published on 24 August 2017

JUBA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today that a child was killed when a WFP-contracted aircraft hit a house while attempting to land during a thunderstorm in Juba on Tuesday. Four other people – a boy, a girl and two women – were injured during the incident.

“We regret to report that a 5-year-old girl was confirmed dead at Juba Teaching Hospital where she was taken following the incident yesterday,” said WFP South Sudan Country Director Adnan Khan.

“WFP extends its deepest condolences to the family and will provide all possible support to them in this terrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. An official investigation is underway and the aircraft will be carefully reviewed to discover what caused it to be so low.”

The Ilyushin-76 cargo aircraft was contracted by WFP to airdrop food in South Sudan. It hit a tree and then the metal roof of the single-storey house as it tried to land at Juba airport in heavy rain and low visibility. The aircraft’s jet blast damaged a second house as it climbed sharply up.

The aircraft then diverted to Entebbe International Airport in Uganda. During an emergency landing, its main landing gear collapsed because metal roofing sheets were entangled in it.

“The safety and well-being of the people of South Sudan are our top priority. We and the aviation authorities will closely examine what happened so that more innocent lives are not put at risk,” Khan said.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
George Fominyen, WFP South Sudan, Mob.  +211 922 465 247, Mob. +211 956 915 009
Peter Smerdon, WFP Nairobi, Tel. +254 207 622 179, Mob. +254 707 722 104
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. +41 79 842 8057
Gerald Bourke, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob.  +1-646 525 9982