A prominent Bahamian Christian leader and several other members of his entourage were among nine people who have died after a small plane crashed while attempting to land in an island in the Bahamas, local media reported.
The Lear 36 Executive jet had taken off from the Bahamian capital of Nassau and crashed while approaching the Grand Bahama International Airport in Freeport, according to a statement from the Ministry of Transport and Aviation on Sunday.
“The Department of Civil Aviation has been advised unofficially that the aircraft was destroyed and that there were no survivors,” the ministry said.
The crash occurred as people were gathering in Grand Bahama for the 2014 Global Leadership Forum, a conference which leaders from around the world were expected to attend.
The Bahamas Tribune newspaper reported that Myles Munroe, a key political figure who organised the event, was killed along with other affiliates.
Police Chief Clarence Reckley said he could not confirm the report and that authorities were still trying to determine the identities of the victims.
Cause of the crash
The cause of the crash has not yet been determined though there had been heavy rain across the region.
Police and fire authorities were on the scene and a full investigation would begin at daylight on Monday.
Kelley Jackson, a spokeswoman for Andrew J Young, a renowned US politician, has said that Monroe’s wife Ruth was also killed in the crash.
“Ambassador Young expresses his deep sadness over the tragic death of his friends Dr Myles and Mrs Ruth Munroe,” the Andrew Young Foundation organisation posted on its Facebook page tonight. “He offers condolences to the Munroe family and the families of the other souls who lost their lives as a result of this shocking plane crash.”
Munroe was the president and founder of the Bahamas Faith Ministries International (BFMI) and Myles Munroe International (MMI), a Christian centre that includes leadership training institutes, a publishing company, a television network, and a church community.
He was also chief executive officer and chairman of the board of the International Third World Leaders Association and president of the International Leadership Training Institute.