Zambia: ZAF Plane in Forced Landing

A ZAMBIA Air Force (ZAF) helicopter carrying 10 passengers including Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations, George Chellah, yesterday made a forced landing in Shiwang'angu area in Chinsali District after it developed a fault.

The plane developed a fault on the power system and made an emergency landing, but no one was injured.

On board the 13-seater plane were Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Effron Lungu, Muchinga Province Minister Charles Banda and his Permanent Secretary Charles Sipanje.

Others were Post reporter Roy Habaalu, Zambia Daily Mail reporter Chimwemwe Mwale, former President Kenneth Kaunda's aide de camp Boniface Nkhoma and three ZAF crew members.

The aircraft developed a fault after taking off around 11:00 hours and landed on a marquee meant to accommodate guests who were in the area to witness the commissioning of the Shiwang'andu mini-hydro-power station.

One of the propellers ripped part of the marquee which was prepared for the guests.

The guests had already run to safety and in the confusion some chairs were damaged.

The accident happened shortly after President Michael Sata commissioned the mini-hydro-power station.

The newly-acquired AF 748 ZAF chopper was in the President's entourage en-route to Matumbo.

Mr Sata, who was in the Presidential chopper about to take off, immediately rushed to the scene to check on the passengers.

Another helicopter was allocated to ferry the Government officials and journalists to Matumbo.

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