Plane crash kills ten people in Malawi, including country's vice president

Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima, left, and his wife Mary disembark from a plane on Sunday. Credit: AP

The vice president of Malawi has been killed in a plane crash along with nine others, the country's president has announced.

Vice President Saulos Chilima was travelling in a military plane along with three crew members and six other passengers, none of whom survived.

The plane's wreckage was discovered in a mountainous area in the north of the country, after a search involving over 600 people and lasting more than a day.

A former first lady was also on board the flight, which went missing on Monday on its 45-minute journey from the capital of Lilongwe, to the city of Mzuzu.

Air traffic controllers told the plane not to attempt a landing at Mzuzu's airport because of bad weather and poor visibility and asked it to turn back to Lilongwe, Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera said.

Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima, left, greets government officials on 9 June after returning from South Korea. Credit: AP

Air traffic control then lost contact with the aircraft and it disappeared from radar.

The president described the aircraft as a small, propeller driven plane operated by the Malawian armed forces.

Chilima was serving his second term as vice president, after taking the role from 2014 to 2019 under former President Peter Mutharika.

He was a candidate in the 2019 Malawian presidential election and finished third, behind the incumbent, Mutharika, and Chakwera.

Chilima had previously been facing corruption charges over allegations that he received money in return for influencing the awarding of government procurement contracts for the Malawi armed forces and the police, but prosecutors dropped the charges last month.

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