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32 dead in UN plane crash

posted 4 Apr 2011, 17:18 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 4 Apr 2011, 17:21 ]

32 dead after a U.N. plane crashes on approach at Kinshasa's international airport.

NDJILI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, KINSHASA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (APRIL 4, 2011) REUTERS - A United Nations plane crashed while trying to land at the airport serving Congo's capital Kinshasa on Monday (April 4), killing 32 people, U.N. officials said.

One person aboard survived.

The world body earlier said Congolese and foreign nationals were on board the plane. The operator of the

plane, Georgian flag carrier Airzena Georgian Airways, said the crew was Georgian.

A U.N. source in Kinshasa, who asked not to be named, said the plane landed heavily, broke into two and caught fire.

There were strong winds blowing at the time.

Twenty U.N. workers were listed as on board the flight.

The plane, a Bombardier CRJ-200 jet, had taken off from the eastern city of Kisangani, a U.N. spokesman based in Kinshasa said. Officials had earlier told Reuters the plane was a CRJ-300.

The U.N.'s 19,000-strong peacekeeping mission is backing Congo government efforts to fight rebel groups that have been haunting the country's troubled east since a 1998-2003 civil war that killed five million people.