Plane crash in DRC: 23 dead and counting
Goma is the capital of North Kivu province in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is located on the northern shore of Lake Kivu, next to the Rwandan city of Gisenyi. The lake and the two cities are in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift system.
Twenty-three bodies were recovered on Sunday after a small plane crashed on takeoff into a densely populated area of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, rescue workers said.
Two people were rescued before the plane exploded, including one member of the crew, according to the National Border Health Program, which confirmed 25 dead in a statement later Sunday.
The 19-seat plane, operated by the private carrier Busy Bee, was headed for the city of Beni, about 155 miles to the north, when it crashed shortly after takeoff into residential homes near Goma’s airport in North Kivu Province, according to the office of Gov. Nzanzu Kasivita Carly of North Kivu.
Established in 2007, Busy Bee Congo is a domestic charter carrier. Operating a fleet of LET turboprop aircraft the carrier offers services from Goma Airport throughout eastern DRC.
“We are up to 23 bodies now,” Goma rescue service coordinator Joseph Makundi told AFP.
Goma airport official Richard Mangolopa said no survivors were expected from the disaster.
The Dornier-228 aircraft had been headed for Beni, 350 kilometers (220 miles) north of Goma when it went down in a residential area near the airport in the east of the country.
“There were 17 passengers on board and two crew members. It took off around 9-9.10 am (0700 GMT),” Busy Bee airline staff member Heritier Said Mamadou said.
Busy Bee, a recent company, has three planes serving routes in North Kivu province.
One of the company’s maintenance workers at the site quoted by news site actuality blamed a “technical problem”. The number of casualties on the ground was not yet known