On Monday, an Antonov An-74TK-100 registered to Russia’s Utair crashed in West Africa while carrying out a cargo service on behalf of a United Nations peacekeeping mission.
RA-74044 was operating a domestic flight within Mali, making its way from the national capital of Bamako to Gao in the country’s south-east.
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said that the flight ended in a high-speed runway excursion, following touch-down in adverse weather conditions.
According to interim releases from the agency, the aircraft was carrying seven crew members and four UN staffers. While all suffered injuries, only one crew member was “seriously injured”.
While several local media outlets have reported that the plane made an emergency landing, these have not been confirmed by MINUSMA, the United Nations, or Malian aviation authorities.
Annadif Mahamat Saleh, the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations and MINUSMA chief, added that the plane was damaged beyond repair and that an investigation has been launched into the craft.
The following pictures were circulated by a Hamburg-based aviation safety NGO.
UTair lsd to UNO #MINUSM Antonov An-74 (RA-74044, built 1994) was seriously damaged in a landing excursion in bad weather conditions at Gao Intl Airport (GAGO), Mali. All 11 on board received injuries. @mali_onliine @JourDuMalihttps://t.co/PusMR5ujnz pic.twitter.com/8VjpE6X59Q
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) August 3, 2020
The Gao runway was opened in 2018, in direct support of MINUSMA’s in-country activities.
The agency maintains a standing contingent of 13,000 troops in Mali, on top of 5,100 French Armed Forces personnel. The latter began interventions in Mali in 2013 in response to increasing jihadist influence in the northern Sahel region.