A small aircraft carrying passengers from Juba International Airport to the city of Yirol crashed, State information Minister Taban Abel said

“The plane crashed and killed 17 people and we have three survivors,” Abel narrated.

The plane carried a total of 22 people and two were still missing.

One of the survivors, an Italian doctor working with an NGO, is in critical condition and undergoing surgery in Yirol Hospital, the minister said.

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

The plane crashed by a river and an eye witness had earlier said bodies were recovered from the water.

There were three children among the 22 passengers, a source said.

Civil Aviation Authority in Juba, confirmed the crash and told Reuters he did not know the death toll yet.

Several crashes have occurred in war-torn South Sudan in recent years. In 2017, four passengers were injured after bad weather caused their plane to crash into a fire truck upon landing and burst into flames.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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