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Africa

Dozens feared dead in DR Congo plane crash

Governor of North Kivu province estimates 30 to 50 passengers killed by crash near Goma city brought on by bad weather.
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2013 20:59

A plane crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo's eastern city of Goma has killed dozens of passengers, according to Congolese officials.

At least three survivors were taken to hospital, police sources said on Monday, although the exact number of passengers on board was still unclear.

The aircraft, a Fokker plane belonging to the local CAA company, was coming from the central mining town of Lodja and went down just before landing at Goma airport, the sources said.

The accident took place during heavy rainfall.

"We don't yet know the number of victims because we're still looking to get the [passenger] manifest from Lodja. But we estimate there could be between 30 and 50 deaths," Julien Paluku, governor of North Kivu province which has Goma
as its capital, told the AFP news agency.

"The pilot managed to avoid houses," said Kubuya. "It's a horrifying accident. The city of Goma has become a field of disasters. We sympathize with the families of the deceased."

Aircraft accidents are frequent in the vast DR Congo, where many planes are old and airports lack modern equipment.
All of the country's roughly 50 airlines are on the blacklist of the European Union, which has banned them from
its airspace.

Last year, a plane crash in the city of Bukavu killed President Joseph Kabila's personal adviser, Augustin Katumba.

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