News / Africa

Liberia Declares Day of Mourning for Guinean Plane Crash Victims

Rescuers on site of plane crash carrying Guinea's military chief, General Kelefa Diallo, and other senior military officials, Charlesville, southeast of Monrovia, Liberia, Feb. 11, 2013.
Rescuers on site of plane crash carrying Guinea's military chief, General Kelefa Diallo, and other senior military officials, Charlesville, southeast of Monrovia, Liberia, Feb. 11, 2013.
James Butty
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf declared Tuesday a national day of mourning following the death Monday of Guinea’s army chief of staff Lt General Souleymane Kelefa Diallo and 10 others who were killed in a plane crash near Monrovia.  

The Guinean delegation was to observe Monday’s Liberia Armed Forces Day.  Information Minister Lewis Brown said a Liberian delegation headed by Defense Minister Brownie Samukai will accompany the bodies to Guinea Tuesday.  

Brown said the cause of the crash is still under investigation, but it appears the plane was approaching Roberts International Airport in bad weather.

“What we know is that, at about 07:09 GMT, the air control tower at the Roberts International Airport made contact with an incoming flight from Conakry, Guinea on which was the Chief of Staff as head of a delegation to attend the 56th celebration of Liberia’s Armed Forces Day.  The pilot confirmed that he had the runway within his sight.  A few minutes thereafter, the air control tried to make contact with the pilot, but there was no response, and so we have now 11 bodies, including that of former chief of staff Lt. General Diallo,” he said.

Butty interview with Lewis
Butty interview with Lewisi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

Brown said rescue teams made a timely response, although some residents near the crash site put the respond time at between 50 minutes and one hour.

“The crash site is in a palm area, about five kilometers south of the airport. The response was, we believe, very adequate and very effective and efficient.  But, we didn’t have much chance because of the explosion that followed the crash,” he said.

He said the black box of the CASA Aircraft (CN35) has been recovered along with the digital voice recorder, and that authorities were in the process of sending it abroad, presumably Canada, to analyze it.

Lewis said what appeared to be a wing of the plane could be seen hanging from a tree, raising concerns the plane might have made a very low approach.  He said the early morning visibility was poor.

“As you know, our condition at this time of the year is very foggy in the morning.  We are told that we had about nine kilometers of visibility,” he said.

“Additionally, representation has been made through the Guinean Embassy, near our capital, expressing the deepest condolences of the government and people of Liberia.  And, the president has called on all Liberians, including leaders of religious communities to offer prayers for the peaceful repose of the chief of staff and other senior officials of the Guinean military who died in this unfortunate crash,” Lewis added.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jango Massalay from: United States
February 12, 2013 5:23 PM
Condolence


by: Momolu Massaquoi from: Nigeria
February 12, 2013 2:50 AM
I wish to express my condolence to the government and people of the Republic of Guinea and Liberia in regards to sudden lost of the chief of staff and the ten others in the plane crash near Monrovia. I pray that God will grant both governments and the bereaved families the resilience to bear the lost.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid