Thursday, June 12, 2008

Plane crashes claim lives in Sudan and Kenya

By Ilhaam Hoosain
12 June 2008

President Thabo Mbeki expressed his condolences to the leaders of Sudan and Kenya following the plane crashes in both countries.

An investigation is under way after a jetliner that veered off a runway during a thunderstorm and burst into flames in Khartoum (Sudan's capital) on Tuesday evening.

More than half of the 214 people on board were able to escape. However reports say it is still unclear how many died in the inferno.

“On behalf of the government and people of South Africa, as well as on his own behalf, extended South Africa’s deepest condolences to Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir and Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki following the recent plane crashes in their respective countries, in which a number of people died,” says Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Ronnie Mampoepa.

“Please accept your excellence our heart felt condolences to the governments and people of your country, occasioned by the recent aircrashes in your countries which robbed you of the lives of a number of your compatriots.

“We can only imagine the pain and hurt these crashes have brought to bear on your countries and in particular those families who lost their loved ones in these tragedies,” says President Thabo Mbeki.

Kenya has also suffered losses of a cabinet minister and an assistant minister. They died yesterday along with two others in Masai Mara game reserve when their light plane crashed near.

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