World News‎ > ‎

At Least 5 Die In Plane Crash In Congolese Town Of Goma

posted 4 Mar 2013, 15:31 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 4 Mar 2013, 15:31 ]

Three people survived the crash. Rescuers and investigation team still to enter the plane to search for more survivors or bodies.

GOMADEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (MARCH 4, 2013)(REUTERS) -  At least five people were killed on Monday (March 4) 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.

"It's a passenger plane which crashed. We are in the rainy season and the climate has posed a problem. We don't yet know what happened, whether they were able to follow the control tower or not. The district attorney is conducting an investigation but we were able to save three people, who are now receiving medical aid. We have taken bodies out of the plane but we haven't yet broken all the plane to see if there are still people alive inside, or more bodies," Joseph Makundi, the head of Accident Investigation and Civilian Protection Department said.

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.