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Russian national piloted plane that crashed in Sudan

August 20, 2012, 18:43 UTC+3
The pilot had been working in Sudan on a private contract at Alpha-1 Company
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

CAIRO, August 20 (Itar-Tass) — The plane that crashed in Sudan on Sunday was piloted by a Russian national, First Secretary of the Russian Embassy in Khartoum Yuri Vidakas told Tass on Monday.

“Russian pilot Gennady Semyonov was commander of the aircraft,” the diplomat said. He said the pilot had been working in Sudan on a private contract at Alpha-1 Company. Besides, there was an Armenian and a Tajik national on board the plane. “Unfortunately, all people on board were killed,” Vidakas said.

According to the Sudanese Civil Aviation Authority, the passenger plane crashed early on Sunday as it was approaching to land in Talodi, a town in the border state of South Kordofan, 650 kilometers southwest of capital Khartoum.

Early reports say the plane crashed because of bad weather conditions, as there was dense fog in the area. The airliner crashed into the mountain and exploded. There were 31 people on board, including Sudan’s Guidance and Endowments (religious affairs) Minister Ghazi al-Sadeq, Mahjoub Abdel Raheem Toutou, state minister for youth and sports, and Eissa Daifallah, state minister for tourism, antiquities and wildlife, Maki Ali Balayli, chairman of Sudan’s Peace and Justice Party, officials from political and law enforcement circles of the party, as well as a production team from Sudanese television.

The plane was taking a delegation to Talodi to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr festival marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, state news agency SUNA said.

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