Tuesday, March 05, 2013
At least five die in plane crash in Congolese town of Goma
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - At least five people were killed on Monday when a twin-propeller plane crashed as it tried to land in bad weather in the eastern Congolese town of Goma, the airline said.
CAA, the airline operating the Fokker 50 plane, said five crew members were killed while another was still missing after the crash.
"The (three) passengers were injured but their lives are not threatened," David Blattner CEO of CAA, told Reuters.
"There are conflicting reports that there might be one person dead on the ground," he added. The flight was arriving from the town of Lodja, some 700 km (440 miles) to the west.
Democratic Republic of Congo has one of the world's worst air safety records.
There have been numerous crashes in Goma, the main town in the east, where the runway has not been fully repaired after a volcanic eruption in 2002 left it covered in lava.
Government spokesman Lambert Mende earlier said nine people had been killed in the crash but he later confirmed the figures provided by CAA.
A Reuters reporter at the scene saw four bodies removed from the wreckage of the plane, which was lying in several pieces.
(Reporting by Kenny Katombe; Additional reporting by Jonny Hogg in Kinshasa; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Michael Roddy)