Military plane crash in Congo kills dozens

30 September, 2017

 

There were no survivors among the all-Russian crew that was transporting vehicles, weapons and military personnel. Initial reports suggest the plane suffered a faulty take-off.

A military plane crashed Saturday morning in the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing everyone on board, according to military and airport officials.

The Russian-made Antonov transport plane went down shortly after take-off in Congo’s capital Kinshasa.

“There was a crash of a cargo plane. It’s a military plane,” George Tabora, the director of Kinshasa’s N’djili Airport, said. “It wasn’t transporting passengers. The crew did not survive the crash.”

This was confirmed by the Defense Minsiter Crispin Atama Tabe: “All 12 members of the crew died.”


People gather around the burning wreckage of a Russian military cargo plane in the DR Congo

A Russian plane and crew

The plane, which had a Russian crew, was carrying “two vehicles and weapons” and military personnel, according to the official.

An official at Congo’s aviation agency, who asked to remain anonymous, said the plane was an Antonov 12 and destined for the eastern city of Bukavu.

It appeared to have trouble on take off from N’djili and crashed into the nearby neighborhood of Nsele, he added.

A witness at the site of the crash said he saw the plane “falling” from the sky shortly before 9 a.m. local time (07.00 GMT/UTC) but did not see any smoke coming from the aircraft.

Airplane crashes are reasonably frequent in the DR Congo due to negligent safety standards. Congolese commercial carriers are banned from operating in the European Union.

bik/cl (AFP, Reuters)

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