Malawi President: All Killed on Plane Carrying Vice President Chilima

Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera said Tuesday there had been no survivors when a plane carrying Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others crashed into a forest.

“The plane has been found and I am deeply saddened and sorry to inform you all, it has turned out to be a terrible tragedy,” he said, in a televised address.

The military plane carrying Chilima, 51, and nine others disappeared on Monday, after it failed to land in the northern city of Mzuzu due to bad weather and was told to return to the capital, Lilongwe.

Operations were focusing on a forest south of Mzuzu on Tuesday.

“When the plane went missing, we managed to locate the last tower at which the phones had transmitted, that is why we are concentrating our efforts on that area,” Moses Kunkuyu, a spokesman for President Lazarus Chakwera’s government, told a news conference.

Army commander General Paul Valentino Phiri said other countries, including Malawi’s neighbours, were aiding the effort, with support including helicopters and drones.

The US Embassy in Lilongwe said it was working with the government to “offer all available assistance” including the use of a C-12 military aircraft.

But footage shared by members of the search team showed bad weather persisted on Tuesday, with foggy conditions hampering visibility.

“We join President Chakwera in his prayers for the well-being of all those on board,” the US embassy said.