Governor of Sudan’s eastern state of Gedaref and six state officials have been killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash near the Ethiopian border.
The helicopter carrying governor Mirghani Salih and members of the state security committee was en route from the city of Gedaref to the border city of Galabat as part of a security tour around border localities.
The chopper exploded as its crew tried to land in Galabat area however the cause of the blast is yet to be known.
Gedaref State secretary-general told reporters that six people have been killed in the crash including governor Salih, minister of economic resources Omer Mohamed Ibrahim, army Brigadier General Youssef al-Tayeb, deputy director of police Al-Nur Ahmed Osman, border coordination official Salah al-Khabeer, director of the governor office Magdi Hassan al-Nur and the director of intelligence El-Rayah Mohy al-Din.
He pointed out that a number of passengers have sustained various injuries and have been transferred to Gedaref Hospital for treatment.
According to Ashorooq TV, officials who have been rescued include the director of the National Intelligence and Security Services in Gedaref, director of information at the governor’s office and two other officials.
Sudan’s military and civilian fleet currently consist largely of old Soviet-made aircraft.
Sunday’s crash wasn’t the first such incident in the country either since a series of air accidents and crashes have been reported in recent years.
On 21 September, the Sudanese army said two of its pilots were killed in a military training plane crash north of Khartoum, the second of its kind in few days.
In June 2017, a military plane crashed in the Northern State, killing all four crew members on board.
In October 2016, a Bo 360 helicopter crashed in Um Hani area, White Nile State, 105 kilometers south of Khartoum killing the pilot and injuring two crew members.
An Antonov 26 fighter jet in April 2016 crashed while landing at the airport in El Obied, the capital of North Kordofan state, killing all five crew members on board.
Also, 32 people were killed in August 2012 when their Antonov AN-26 crashed in Talodi, South Kordofan’s third-largest town.
In October 2012, an Antonov plane crashed in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman killing 12 people.
Two air force crew died in June 2013 when their helicopter crashed in war-torn Blue Nile state, just a week after one went down in South Kordofan.