A military plane carrying Malawi's vice president has gone missing and a search is underway

BLANTYRE, Malawi

ByGREGORY GONDWE AP logo
Monday, June 10, 2024 5:47PM
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A military plane carrying Malawi's vice president and nine others went missing Monday and a search was underway, the president's office said.

The plane carrying 51-year-old Vice President Saulos Chilima left the capital, Lilongwe, but failed to make its scheduled landing at Mzuzu International Airport about 370 kilometers (230 miles) to the north around 45 minutes later.

Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima,left, and his wife Mary disembark from a plane upon his return from South Korea in Lillongwe, Sunday, June 9, 2024.
Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima,left, and his wife Mary disembark from a plane upon his return from South Korea in Lillongwe, Sunday, June 9, 2024.
AP Photo

Aviation authorities lost contact with the plane when it "went off radar," the statement from Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera's office said. Chakwera ordered a search operation and canceled a trip to the Bahamas, his office said.

"All efforts to make contact with the aircraft since it went off radar have failed thus far," the statement said.

Chakwera was informed of the missing plane by Gen. Valentino Phiri, the head of the Malawian armed forces. The president had ordered national and local authorities to "conduct an immediate search and rescue operation to locate the whereabouts of the aircraft," his office said.