The Security Council today expressed its “deep distress and shock” over yesterday's deadly crash in Haiti of a plane, affiliated with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Caribbean nation, which killed all 11 people on board.
Echoing a statement issued last night by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon through his spokesperson, the 15-member Council expressed its sympathy and condolences to the families of those who died in the accident.
In a communiqué, the mission, known as MINUSTAH, said the plane was on a regular reconnaissance flight in south-eastern Haiti when it crashed around noon into the side of a mountain in the Fonds-Verrettes area, about 45 kilometres from the capital, Port-au-Prince.
The bodies of the 11 passengers and crew have been recovered from the crash site and transported back to Port-au-Prince, where the headquarters of MINUSTAH is located. The names of the people killed have not yet been released but the UN confirmed that the victims include Uruguayan and Jordanian military officers serving with the mission.
MINUSTAH reported that an investigation is already under way into the cause of the crash of the Uruguayan CASA-212 military aircraft, which had departed from Port-au-Prince on a surveillance flight over an area near the Haitian border with the Dominican Republic.
The mission has been in place in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, since mid-2004 after the then president Jean-Bertrand Aristide went into exile amid violent unrest. Currently there are more than 9,000 military and police personnel deployed and nearly 2,000 civilian staff.