Several hours after the military aircraft conveying Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others went missing, it has been confirmed that all passengers aboard the aircraft had died. The small military plane crashed in bad weather in the mountainous northern region of the country, the president announced on Tuesday. Chilima was 51 years old.

Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others were on a domestic flight on Monday morning when their aircraft vanished from radar.

President Lazarus Chakwera announced that after more than 24 hours of searching through dense forests and hilly terrain near the city of Mzuzu, the wreckage of the plane that went missing Monday morning had been found. The plane was discovered near a hill, completely destroyed, with no survivors.

Chakwera described the incident as a “terrible tragedy.” He expressed his heartbreak, acknowledging the immense pain and anguish felt by everyone. Chakwera praised Vice President Saulos Chilima, calling him “a good man, a devoted father and husband, a patriotic citizen who served his country with distinction, and a formidable vice president.”

Chakwera said the victims’ remains were being brought to the southern African nation’s capital, Lilongwe. The seven passengers included members of Chilima’s staff and security detail along with former first lady Shanil Dzimbiri, the ex-wife of former President Bakili Muluzi. There were three crew members.