Myles Munroe, a prominent Christian minister from the Bahamas, and his wife, Ruth Munroe, were among nine people killed when a small plane crashed while attempting to land on the island of Grand Bahamas on Sunday (Nov. 9), Prime Minister Perry Christie said.
Munroe, 60, was president and founder of Bahamas Faith Ministries International and was traveling to Grand Bahamas to attend the 2014 Global Leadership Forum, according to Christie. Several members of the minister’s entourage were among those killed.
“It is utterly impossible to measure the magnitude of the Dr. Munroe’s loss to The Bahamas and to the world,” Christie said in a statement, according to The Nassau Guardian.
Calling Munroe his “personal friend and spiritual mentor,” Christie said he was “indisputably one of the most globally recognizable religious figures our nation has ever produced.”
The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference/Conela, said Munroe “breathed, lived and died expanding the kingdom of God. His passion for Christ made him a true ambassador of grace and righteousness.”
The Lear 36 Executive Jet had taken off from the Bahamian capital of Nassau and crashed while attempting to land around 5 p.m. in Freeport, according to the Ministry of Transport and Aviation.
The plane reportedly struck a crane at the Grand Bahama Ship Yard, exploding on impact and crashing into the ground near a junkyard area, according to the Bahamas Tribune.
Former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young was scheduled to be on the ill-fated flight, but, according to a spokesperson, felt “guided by the spirit” not to get on board, WXIA-TV in Atlanta reports.
In a statement on the Andrew J. Young Foundation Facebook page, Young expressed his “deep sadness” over the death of Munroe and his wife, and “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.”
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 scene and a full investigation was scheduled to begin at daylight on Monday.
Grand Bahama is about 70 miles east of Florida.
— by Doug Standlin | USA Today | RNS
(Doug Stanglin writes for USA Today. Duffie Dixon of WXIA-TV in Atlanta and Kevin Eckstrom of Religion News Service contributed to this report.)