Plane Carrying Malawi’s Vice-President Disappears.

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A plane carrying Malawi’s Vice President, Saulos Chilima, and nine other people have reportedly gone missing after it failed to make a scheduled landing on Monday, the presidential office confirmed.

Chilima was travelling on a Malawi Defense Force Aircraft and left the capital of Lilongwe at 9:17 a.m. local time, the plane had been scheduled to land at the Mzuzu International Airport, about 380 km to the north of Lilongwe, but did not arrive and is no longer detectable by radar, according to the statement.

“All efforts by aviation authorities to make contact with the aircraft since it went off the radar have failed thus far,”

“As such, the commander of the Malawi Defense Force, General Valentino Phiri, has since informed His Excellency Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera of the incident, and the president has since canceled his scheduled departure for the Bahamas and ordered all regional and national agencies to conduct an immediate search and rescue operation to locate the whereabouts of the aircraft,” the statement read.

The country’s president, Lazarus Chakwera, addressed the nation on Monday night and said air traffic control in Mzuzu had advised the aircraft not to attempt a landing due to “poor visibility” and bad weather, and to return to the capital Lilongwe.

Soon after, authorities lost contact with the aircraft, prompting a search and rescue operation, signals from telecommunications towers reported the plane’s last known position to a 10-kilometre (6-mile) radius in a forest reserve, which has since become the area of focus for the search and rescue operation, Chakwera said.

“I know this is a heartbreaking situation. I know we are all frightened and concerned. I too am concerned,” Chakwera said. “But I want to assure you that I am sparing no available resource to find that plane. And I am holding on to every fiber of hope that we will find survivors,” the president added.

The US has offered a military C-12 aircraft to assist in the search, according to a statement from the US embassy in Malawi.

“The U.S. Embassy Lilongwe is deeply concerned by the news that the plane carrying Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima and nine others went missing yesterday morning,” the statement posted Tuesday on X said.

“We join President Chakwera in his prayers for the well-being of all those on board the Vice President’s plane,” the statement added.

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