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Malawi Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima killed in plane crash with wife, 8 others

Malawi’s Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima and 9 other people including his wife were killed when the plane they were travelling in crashed in the Chikangawa mountain range, the government said Tuesday. President Lazarus Chakwera declared Tuesday a national day of mourning.

“Unfortunately, all on board have perished in the crash,” the Office of the President and Cabinet said in a Tuesday morning statement. The confirmation came after more than a day-long search effort in a forested area in the mountains of northern Malawi. The military plane crashed Monday morning after it took off from the country’s capital Lilongwe.

Chilima, 51, and the other passengers had been headed to attend the funeral of the country’s former attorney general when their plane dropped off radar. Air traffic officials said the plane had been unable to land at Mzuzu airport, about 200 miles north of the capital, due to poor visibility, and the pilot had been advised to return to Lilongwe when the flight disappeared.

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