ONE person died and two others were seriously injured after a Cessna 182 light aircraft crashed while conducting a wildlife survey in the Zambezi Valley.
The plane, carrying Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) animal trackers, went missing on Friday and its wreckage was only discovered on Sunday in the densely forested Chewore safari area.
ZimParks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said one person was still missing. The aircraft was carrying two Zimbabweans and two South Africans.
“We had spent three days searching and, just yesterday (Sunday), our private partners also joined in and we dispatched seven helicopters to thoroughly search the Zambezi Valley area where they had gone to do an aerial survey,” Farawo said.
“One of the helicopters discovered the wreckage in Chewore area in the mid-Zambezi Valley and, upon landing, the team discovered that one person had died on the spot and was under the wreckage together with the other two, who were also seriously injured.
“We are still searching for the other scientist whom we don’t know how he managed to pull out of the wreckage.
“We haven’t established yet the circumstances surrounding his disappearance, but a thorough search is still ongoing.”
He said the two survivors were taken to a hospital in Kariba.
“On board was a pilot, one Zimbabwean wildlife scientist and two South African scientists that volunteer to work with us in our parks.
“We haven’t established the cause of the accident and we haven’t established who died, who is missing and the details regarding those, who were taken to Kariba Hospital,” Farawo added.
“We will be updating the public once we have confirmed their names and the type of a plane they were flying on.”
The mountainous Chewore area is home to wild game such as lion and buffalo.
Source: Zimbabwe News Hawks