A plane crashed a few minutes after taking off, in a popular area of Goma. The provisional balance sheet reports about twenty deaths.
At least 29 people died in the crash Sunday morning of a small airliner in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which crashed two minutes after takeoff on two houses in a popular district of Goma (east).
« At this point, 29 bodies were found in the rubble? » Announced the provincial government of the province of North Kivu in the evening.
From the same source, there is a survivor among the 19 people who were on board the plane, and he was hospitalized with 16 other wounded.
This is the first time an official source has mentioned a survivor among the 19 people – 17 passengers and two crew members – who had boarded the Busy Bee carrier.
A previous report from the central government’s Ministry of Transport spoke of « 26 dead, 17 passengers, two crew members, and seven dead on the ground? »
The Dornier-228-type aircraft crashed on two houses in the Birere / Mapendo neighborhood shortly after 09:00, next to the airport built near the border with Rwanda amid densely populated areas.
A video retrieved by AFP shows the cabin of the still smoking aircraft embedded in the wall of a house, with inhabitants of the neighborhood around.
A first video on social networks showed the plane in flames and residents trying to extinguish the fire with buckets of water.
The aircraft was to rotate to Beni via Butembo 350 kilometers north of Goma, two cities affected by the Ebola outbreak and the violence of armed groups.
The pilot « missed his takeoff, » the governor of North Kivu, Carly Nzanzu Kasivita, said in a statement.
« The causes of the accident are not yet known. An investigation is underway? « Said the provincial government in its evening release.
« A priori, it’s a technical problem, » said a technician from the company at the crash site, quoted by news site news.cd. The plane would have had engine problems in the previous days.
« Deep Congo? »
The United Nations Mission in Congo (MONUSCO) has sent two fire trucks to reinforce Congolese teams.
Busy Bee is a company serving Goma, Beni and Butembo in the North Kivu province for several years. « We are bringing you to the deep Congo, » says his website, which features a fleet of three Dornier aircraft for scheduled flights and charters, as well as medical evacuations.
From Beni, the Governor of North Kivu Carly Nzanzu Kasivita presented his condolences to the families of the victims.
The governor stays in Beni to try to calm the anger of the inhabitants after the massacres of civilians who have killed more than 60 people in a month.
Since August-September 2018, Beni and Butembo have also been the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak, which has killed around 2,200 people.
The runway at Goma Airport was renovated and extended in 2015 after being damaged in 2002 by the eruption of Nyiaragongo Volcano.
The airport is used for scheduled flights (Ethiopian Airlines, Congo Airways, CAA, Busy Bee) but especially by United Nations and humanitarian organizations.
Even decreasing, the risks of aircraft accidents remain high in the Democratic Republic of Congo, largest country in sub-Saharan Africa (2.3 million square kilometers).
On October 10, an Antonov-72 crashed in the center of the country after taking off from Beni. He was transporting logistical support teams to President Felix Tshisekedi, who returned the same day from a trip to the east of the country.
Among the passengers affected by the Goma accident is the coordinator of a women’s rights organization, Mambo Zawadi, NGOs said.
There were also three land administration executives « who were joining their workplaces in Butembo and Beni after the working sessions I organized? » Their governing minister, Molendo Sakombi, said in a statement. condolences to the loved ones.
A picture circulating on the internet could be a selfie of three men taken just before boarding.