REPORT: Vice President Of African Nation Dies In Plane Crash

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A military plane carrying the vice president of Malawi and nine others crashed Monday, killing everyone on board. The small military plane was later found in a mountainous region in the northern part of the country.

Fifty-one-year-old Vice President Saulos Chilima left the southern African nation’s capital, Lilongwe, at 9.17 a.m., according to ABC News. It was scheduled to land 45 minutes later at the Mzuzu International Airport about 370 kilometers (230 miles) to the north, but never arrived, the outlet reported.

Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera’s office ordered “an immediate search and rescue operation,” explaining in a statement that aviation authorities had lost contact with the plane amid bad weather and poor visibility, according to ABC. (RELATED: Authorities Find Body Of Missing Famous TV Doctor On Greek Island: REPORT)

Chakwera later announced in a live address on state television that the wreckage of the plane had been located after a search of more than a day in thick forests and hilly terrain near the northern city of Mzuzu. The plane had been “completely destroyed” and everyone onboard was killed on impact, the president said, according to ABC.

“Words cannot describe how heartbreaking this is and I can only imagine how much pain and anguish you all must be feeling at this time, as well as how much pain and anguish you all will be feeling in the coming days and weeks as we mourn this terrible loss,” Chakwera said, according to ABC.

NEW: A military plane carrying Malawi’s vice president and nine others went missing Monday. A search is underway, the president’s office said.

According to ABC, authorities said that around 600 personnel were involved in the search, including around 300 police officers, 200 soldiers and local forest rangers.

Chakwera also said that the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway and Israel offered assistance with the search operation and had provided “specialized technologies,” the outlet noted.

Chilima was “a good man, a devoted father and husband, a patriotic citizen who served his country with distinction, and a formidable vice president,” the president said, according to ABC.