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Three bodies found in crashed WFP plane in Uganda

By Staff
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KAMPALA, May 6 (Reuters) Rescuers have found three bodies in the wreckage of a UN-chartered small plane that crashed in the mountains of Uganda after it went missing in eastern Congo last week, the world body's food agency said.

The UN's World Food Programme (WFP), which had chartered the small plane operated by South Africa-based King Air Services, said yesterday the bodies were believed to be those of the South African captain and his wife, also a South African, and the co-pilot, a dual national of France and Canada.

''A rescue team ... identified aircraft wreckage high up in Uganda's Rwenzori mountains as the remains of a WFP-chartered light plane missing for a week and found three bodies at the crash site,'' a WFP statement said.

A search and rescue operation was launched last week after contact was lost with the single-engine Cessna Caravan on April 28, which was flying from the Congolese town of Goma, near the Rwandan and Ugandan borders, to Bunia in northeastern Congo.

Rescuers aboard a UN search helicopter sighted the wreckage two days later on the Ugandan side of the mountainous border but were unable to land near the crash site, at an altitude of 3,600 metres.

''The team took three days to reach the crash site on foot because of bad weather and the very difficult terrain,'' WFP said.

An investigation is being set up to determine the cause of the crash.

REUTERS SY VV1617

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