State Governor, Other Officials Dead As Helicopter Crashes While Trying To Land

A helicopter crashed Sunday in eastern Sudan, killing at least five local officials who were on board, state media reported .

Witnesses said the helicopter caught fire after hitting a communications tower as it tried to land in a field in the state of Al-Qadarif.

“ Flames and thick dark smoke rose from the aircraft ,” one of the witnesses, Adam Hassan , said . Al – Qadarif governor Mirghani Saleh , his cabinet chief, thelocal Minister of agriculture as well as the local police chief and head of border guards were killed , state television said.

It did not give details about the circumstances of the crash near the border with Ethiopia , or say if there were anysurvivors .

Sudan’ s state news agency SUNA gave a slightly higher toll of six government officials killed .

It said an unspecified number of other people were taken to hospital for treatment , without providing further details.

Most of Sudan ’s military and civilian fleet consists of old Soviet – made aircraft, and the country has suffered a series of crashes in recent years, with the military frequently blaming technical problems and bad weather .

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