Congolese Plane Crashes During Landing at Goma Airport

A Congolese airplane attempting to land during a rainstorm crashed in the eastern city of Goma, carrying at least nine people, according to the airline.

Five crew members and four passengers were on board the Compagnie Africaine d’Aviation Fokker 50 when it took off from Lodja, about 400 miles (643 kilometers) west of Goma in Western Kasai province, said Pasteur Emile, CAA’s station manager in the town.

“It crashed in the middle of the city, but luckily it crashed in an empty lot,” Julien Paluku, governor of North Kivu province, said by phone. The plane was two minutes from landing and three survivors were pulled from the wreckage, he said.

Earlier, United Nations-backed Radio Okapi said 30 people were on board, without saying how it got the information. The Fokker 50 can carry as many as 58 passengers, according to CAA’s website.

Congolese airlines, including CAA, are banned from flying within Europe. In April 2008 a Hewa Bora Airways plane crashed on takeoff in Goma, killing 37 people on the ground and three on the plane. In July 2011, at least 83 people were killed when a Hewa Bora plane crashed in Kisangani. CAA flies to 34 destinations in Congo, according to its website.

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