The Chinese peacekeeping engineers are seen in the rescue operation of a crashed passenger aircraft at the Wau Airport in Wau, South Sudan on March 20, 2017. (mod.gov.cn/Liu Junhao)
WAU, SOUTH SUDAN, March 22 (ChinaMil) -- The new head of UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) David Shearer praised on Tuesday the UN peacekeepers from China, who took part in a rescue operation following the crash-landing of a commercial plane at Wau Airport in South Sudan on March 20.
The rapid reaction capability the Chinese peacekeeping engineers demonstrated in the rescue operation was impressive, said Mr. Shearer.
A small commercial plane burst into flames after a crash landing at the Wau Airport at 15:30, March 20, local time. After receiving the rescue order from the UNMISS Sector West Headquarters, two fire engines sent by the 15th Chinese peacekeeping engineer contingent to South Sudan (Wau) rushed to the airport at full speed and arrived at the crash site within 10 minutes, becoming the first professional rescue force participating in the rescue operation.
After ruling out the possibility of a second explosion of the plane, the Chinese engineers used the high-pressure water guns to cool down the plane, while the rest oil in the fuel tanker of the plane was burning violently. Finally, with the joint efforts of peacekeepers from China, Nepal and Bangladesh, the fire was put out at around 16:40, local time.
A commanding officer of the Bangladesh peacekeeping force said he was impressed by the rapid reaction ability and bravery of Chinese peacekeepers.
Local authorities have confirmed that all the 43 passengers and 6 crew members have survived the plane crash and 37 of them have been sent to hospital for treatment.