A 13-month-old baby has miraculously survived a plane crash that took place near the South Sudan airport in Juba. More than 30 people were reported to perish from the accident.
According to News.com.au, the baby named Nyalou Thong only suffered from a forehead wound and a broken leg. The infant was found on top of an unconscious man who said that he was able to protect the baby using his body as shield.
South Sudanese state television presenter Achol Deng was one of the first reporters who arrived at the plane crash site. Deng found the two survivors near the plane wreckage. She immediately got help to bring the baby to the hospital.
Deng could not believe how the infant survived the plane crash. She said, “It was like an intervention by God.”
Upon hearing the incident, the baby’s father named Thong Deng who was in Paloich rushed to fly to Juba. He confirmed that his wife and other daughter did not survive the tragedy.
The Associated Press reported that the plane was bound for the Paloich oil fields in the Upper Nile. The crash site was only a mile from the South Sudan airport. South Sudan minister for transportation Kuong Danhier Gatluak and Maju Hilary of the South Sudan Red Cross confirmed that there were thirty-six people who died in the plane crash.
However, the man who held the infant also died which put the death toll to 37. Gatluak said that they cannot determine the number of people on board the plane because there was no passenger manifest.
Assistant operations manager Kenyi Galla who works for Combined Air Services (which operates chartered flights) said that the plane that crashed is the kind normally used to board only 12 passengers. He said, “This plane is just for cargo, not for passengers. It was just chartered for goods.”
Head of the country’s Civil Aviation Authority Stephen Warikozi said that they are currently investigating the cause of the plane crash.
Meanwhile, BBC noted that it is still undetermined if the infant is the sole survivor. The baby is reported to be undergoing treatment at a teaching hospital.