Tragedy Strikes: Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima Killed in Plane Crash

President Lazarus Chakwera confirms the death of Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others after their plane crashed in Chikangawa Forest during severe weather conditions.

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Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima died in an aircraft accident along with nine other passengers, the country’s President Lazarus Chakwera confirmed on Tuesday.

The plane went missing after failing to arrive at Mzuzu International Airport, roughly 380 kilometers (240 miles) north of the capital Lilongwe. Chakwera said on Tuesday that the plane’s wreckage had been discovered.

“The search and rescue operation I authorized to locate the missing jet carrying our vice president and nine others has concluded. The airplane has been located. And I am grieved and sorry to tell you that it has turned out to be a horrible tragedy,” Chakwera said.

The Malawian leader said that the airplane was discovered “destroyed” in the Chikangawa Forest, stating that “words cannot describe how heartbreaking this is.”

Chakwera praised his deputy, calling him “a good man, a devoted father and husband, (and) a patriotic citizen who served his country with distinction.”

Chilima, 51, returned to Malawi on June 6 after attending the Korea-Africa Summit in Seoul last week.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Malawi Defence Force claimed it had dispatched drones and at least 200 troops to hunt for the jet in the Chikangawa Forest Reserve, where indications of its whereabouts were last received.

According to Force Commander Paul Valentino Phiri, rescue activities have been delayed due to severe weather.

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