Plane loaded with money crashes in South Sudan, several feared dead (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

A cargo plane carrying food, motorbikes and cash has crashed shortly after takeoff from the airport in the South Sudanese capital of Juba. Witnesses reported seeing several bodies.

The Antonov An-26 aircraft was travelling to the city of Aweil in the northwest of the country. Videos and photos circulating on social media show smoke rising from the pieces of fuselage strewn across the crash site.

Juba Airport Director Kur Kuol Ajieu told Anadolu that eight people were on board the plane, but he had no information as yet about the casualties. Witnesses told the agency they saw six bodies, and one person was rushed to a hospital. Meanwhile, Xinhua reported that as many as 17 people may have been killed.

Aijeu told the Xinhua the aircraft was carrying motorbikes and food, as well as money to pay the salaries of NGO workers. The Aviation Herald website also reported that the plane was loaded with cash intended for “wages.” A witness told the media that people on the ground rushed to collect the money scattered across the wreckage.

In 2017, an An-26 passenger plane coming from Juba caught fire after landing in the city of Wau and, despite the aircraft being completely destroyed, all 45 people on board were rescued. A more tragic incident occurred in 2015, when an An-12 cargo plane crashed shortly after taking off from Juba, killing 37.

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