July 17th , 2024



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A month ago

Lilongwe, Malawi – A frantic search operation is underway in Malawi after an aircraft carrying the country’s Vice President, Saulos Chilima, and nine others went missing Monday morning. The plane went off the radar shortly after departing from the capital, Lilongwe.

The flight, which left Lilongwe at 10:30 AM local time, was en route to Blantyre for a series of official engagements. However, approximately 45 minutes into the journey, air traffic control lost contact with the aircraft. There has been no communication from the pilot or any indication of distress before the disappearance.

Malawi’s aviation authorities, along with national security agencies, have mobilized a comprehensive search and rescue operation. The search is being conducted both by air and ground units, focusing on the plane’s last known coordinates over a remote area near the Dedza mountain range, known for its difficult terrain.

President Lazarus Chakwera addressed the nation in an urgent televised broadcast, expressing his deep concern and urging calm. "We are doing everything in our power to locate Vice President Chilima and all others on board. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families during this uncertain time," he said.

International assistance has also been sought to bolster the search efforts. Neighboring countries, including Zambia and Tanzania, have offered to provide additional resources and expertise to help locate the missing aircraft. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has also expressed solidarity, with several member states pledging support.

The Vice President was accompanied by senior government officials and aides, whose identities have not been disclosed pending notification of their families. The disappearance has sent shockwaves through the nation, with citizens and government officials alike anxiously awaiting updates.

Air travel experts have speculated on several potential causes for the aircraft's disappearance, ranging from technical failures to adverse weather conditions, although the weather was reportedly clear at the time of departure. Investigations will also look into possible navigational errors and the aircraft's maintenance records.

Malawi has a relatively safe aviation history, making this incident particularly alarming. The country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has called for an immediate review of all flight protocols and safety measures to prevent such occurrences in the future.

As the search enters its critical hours, rescue teams are racing against time to locate the missing plane and its passengers. The government has assured the public that no effort will be spared in finding the Vice President and the others aboard, hoping for a miracle amidst growing fears for their safety.

Updates will continue to be provided as more information becomes available, with the nation holding its collective breath, praying for the safe return of Vice President Saulos Chilima and his entourage.

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Nicholas Baiden


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