Malawi government: Plane carrying vice president missing

A Malawi military helicopter carrying the country’s vice president and eight other people went missing on Monday, the government said.

Saulos Chilima was scheduled to attend the funeral of Ralph Kasambara, a former justice minister who died on Friday, with his copter leaving from the capital Lilongwe before going missing in the country’s north.

In light of the incident, President Lazarus Chakwera has cancelled a scheduled overseas trip and ordered both regional and national agencies to intensify searches to locate the missing aircraft, according to a statement from the president’s office.

The atmosphere in the southern African country has grown somber as the pubic waits for news of the vice president.

Recent years have seen prominent figures perish in helicopter crashes, including most recently Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi, who died last month in a crash.

Closer to home, Gen. Francis Ogolla, Kenya’s military chief, this April also died in a helicopter crash.

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