10 dead in Uganda plane crash

March 9, 2009 12:00 am
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, BUJUMBURA, Mar 9 – A plane caught fire and crashed into Lake Victoria just after taking off from Kampala’s Entebbe airport killing about 10 people, officials said.

The 10 dead included three top Burundian officers of the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia, a Burundi army spokesman told AFP.

The plane plunged into Lake Victoria, which is next to the airport, an AFP correspondent witnessed.

Burundi army spokesman Adolphe Manirakiza said the aircraft crashed shortly after take-off from Entebbe, Uganda’s main international airport.

"They (officers) were on board a small plane and according to information we are receiving fire broke out on board and then the plane crashed," Manirakiza explained. One of the officers was a general and a second was a colonel, he said.

The plane was heading to the Somali capital Mogadishu where some 3,400 troops from Uganda and Burundi are based trying to contain an Islamist insurgency.

The three officers were part of the AU force in Somalia, known as AMISOM, and were travelling with Ugandan troops, Manirakiza said. Uganda’s military spokesman confirmed the details.About 12 people died on Monday in a plane crash in Uganda, including three Burundian officers of the African peacekeeping force in Somalia, the spokesman for the Burundian army told AFP.

Spokesman Adolphe Manirakiza said the aircraft crashed shortly after take-off from Entebbe, Uganda’s main international airport.

Uganda’s national police spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba earlier told AFP that a cargo plane had crashed at the airport.

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