Sudanese helicopter crash kills 32

Associated Press Modified: August 19, 2012 at 9:15 am •  Published: August 19, 2012
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KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — A Sudanese helicopter carrying a government delegation crashed in a mountainous southern region on Sunday, killing all 32 people on board including a Cabinet minister, a former presidential adviser, two generals and a TV crew.

The delegation was travelling aboard a chartered helicopter to the volatile South Kordofan state to attend prayers on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

The helicopter went down "due to harsh weather conditions" near Talodi, a small town about 650 kilometers (406 miles) southwest of the capital, Khartoum, state-run news agency SUNA said.

A Sudanese official said the aircraft slammed into a mountain just before it was to land in Talodi, as seasonal heavy rains in the region left the pilots with "zero visibility". The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.

He said a search team that reached the site of the crash was having trouble identifying the victims as many bodies had been charred and torn to pieces.

The office of Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir released a list of all 26 passengers and six crew members who perished in the crash.