March 20 (UPI) -- All 49 passengers aboard a plane that crashed at the airport in Wau, South Sudan, survived, according to local media reports.
The South Supreme Airlines plane, a Russian-made antonov AN-26, was traveling from Juba, the capital, and crashed on landing. Thick clouds of smoke billowed from the aircraft, and although witnesses said a number of passengers were killed, there were conflicting reports of casualties. A Juba radio station said at least nine people were pulled from the plane alive.
"Right now we have the ambulance which has just come out from the airport and we have received 14 patients being rushed to hospital in stable condition," state information minister Bona Gaudensio told the Khaleej Times.
When the plane crashed, its doors flew open, allowing the passengers to escape the flames and exit the plane, an eyewitness said..
"The weather is not good. Visibility was not good up to now and [the plane] was landing from the east to west then it just crashed [off] the runway. The pilot I think was not seeing the runway well," said Wau airport engineer Paul Charles, the Khaleej Times reported.
One report said the pilot landed safely but then struck an airport fire truck. The plane carried 45 passengers and four crew members. Several high-ranking South Sudanese military and government officials were aboard the plane, the Sudan Tribune reported.