At least 19 dead, 120 injured in Congo plane crash

April 16th, 2008 - 5:26 pm ICT by admin  

Nairobi/Goma, April 16 (DPA) Rescuers continued to search the wreckage of an airplane Wednesday that crashed into a populated commercial district of the eastern Congolese town of Goma Tuesday, killing at least 19 people, an official said. The DC-9 airliner caught fire shortly after take off and at first only six people on board were believed to have survived, but further investigation showed most of the 79 passengers were alive.

“There are at least 120 injured people, including those passengers who survived and people in the commercial area who were wounded when the plane hit,” said Yann Bonzon, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross’ mission in Goma.

“Rescue personnel are still on site to see if there are bodies or people trapped under the debris of the plane or under the rubbles of the houses the plane landed on,” he said, adding that casualty figures might change.

Congo has one of the world’s worst plane crash records, with old, badly maintained planes being used to ferry Congolese around the vast country the size of Western Europe, having only about 500 km of paved road.

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