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Missing ZimParks ranger: 25-man search team combs Zambezi Valley

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  • The search for the missing passenger is being jointly carried out by Zimbabwean and Zambian authorities using four planes and sniffer dogs.

A 25-man search party has been combing up the Zambezi valley in search of a survivor of a plane crash in the area on Friday afternoon.

A four-seat Cessna 182 light aircraft, which had four people on board, crashed in Chewore Safari Area in Mbire with one dead and two critically injured.

The deceased was a South African researcher who was conducting a game survey with a compatriot and two Zimbabweans, including the pilot.

The search for the missing passenger is being jointly carried out by Zimbabwean and Zambian authorities using four planes and sniffer dogs.

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) spokesperson Tinashe Farawo on Monday confirmed the discovery of the wreckage. 

“The plane was found crashed in Chewore, mid-Zambezi. It is not yet clear what caused the crash and investigations are still in progress. Authorities recovered the body of a South African national while two people were found badly injured. They were in such a bad state they could not call for help.

“We have engaged authorities in Zambia to help in the search for the fourth person who remains missing,” said Mr Farawo.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said: “The ZRP is investigating the circumstances in which a four-seater airplane crashed at Chewore North Safari Area, Chirundu, killing one person whilst two others survived and is missing. Police and other relevant stakeholders are currently searching for the missing person.”

Reports suggest that the missing person survived the accident and left the scene of the plane crash to look for help.

The Cessna 182 is an American four-seat, single-engined light utility airplane built by Cessna of Wichita, Kansas.

It has a luggage compartment and the option of adding two child seats, installed in the baggage area.

First introduced in 1956, the 182 has been produced in a number of variants, including a version with retractable landing gear.

It is known to be very reliable and is the second most popular Cessna model still in production, after the 172.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) is still carrying out investigations into the cause of the crash. ■

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