UN cargo plane carrying humanitarian aid crashes in Somalia

The crash of the aircraft, which was transporting a planeload of UN food assistance, happened at an airport in Beledweyne, Somalia but the crew escaped unscathed

A United Nations plane carrying food and other aid supplies crashed on Tuesday in central Somalia.

The United States Embassy in Somalia said the plane was transporting important food aid from Djibouti on Tuesday (14 July).

Although the plane was engulfed in flames after landing, the entire crew on board escaped and no one on the ground was injured.

There were three crew members on board the plane when it veered off the runway and crashed on to its belly.

“The accident occurred on the runway during roll-out after landing,” the US embassy said in a statement.

Regret over lost food

The US embassy expressed its regret at the loss of humanitarian food aid that was being transported to Somalia.

The aid was meant to be given to people in the country who had been displaced by heavy rains.

Sabrie Ahmed, who works with the local administration in Beledweyne town, said black smoke could be seen from miles away after the crash.

The governor of the Hiran Region, Ali Jeite Osman, added that although some local people came to the scene to assist, they could not contain the inferno.

He said the airport lacked firefighting equipment, which made the rescuers powerless to stop the fire.

Cause of crash not clear

The Aviation Safety Network, which monitors aircraft accidents, is yet to give an update on the cause of the crash.

The network took to Twitter to post a photo of the incident, at the same time confirming that everyone on board survived.

“A Kenyan DHC-8 aircraft [which] crashed and burst into flames at Beledweyne Airport, Somalia. Reportedly everyone on board survived the accident,” it said in a statement.

In May, a Kenyan plane carrying humanitarian aid and medical supplies was shot down by Ethiopian troops, killing six people.

Officials later said that a lack of communication led to the unfortunate incident.

E A Alanore

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