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Africa

Dozens killed in Congo plane crash

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-07-09

The Red Cross reported Saturday that dozens more bodies were discovered in the wreckage of Friday's air crash in northeast Democratic of Congo. The Boeing 727 operated by Hewa Bora crashed at Kisangani airport while attempting to land in heavy rain.

AFP - The death toll from Friday's passenger plane crash in northeast Democratic Republic of Congo has risen to 74, the Red Cross said, after the discovery of 28 more bodies in the wreckage.

"There are 74 bodies in the morgue at Kisangani general hospital, of which 28 were brought in this (Saturday) morning," the organisation's Congolese secretary general Mario-Real Shutsha told AFP.

Earlier in the day, Hewa Bora Airways director Stavros Papaioannoua said there were 56 confirmed deaths and warned the toll may rise further.

The Boeing 727 operated by Hewa Bora crashed at Kisangani airport as it attempted to land in heavy rain with 112 passengers and six crew on board.

The plane was on its regular commercial route from Kinshasa to Kisangani and Goma when it hit the storm as it approached the airport, a local administration spokesman said.

Jean-Marc Mambimbi, a doctor in the Oriental province, said more than 40 people were still being treated for injuries.

Papaioannoua said Red Cross staff worked in difficult conditions until the early hours of Saturday to free the injured and remove bodies from the plane wreckage.

All three pilots and a mechanic were killed in the crash, he added, but two air hostesses were among the injured.

He rejected a toll of 127 deaths the transport ministry had earlier given to certain media, reiterating the plane could seat only 114 passengers.

Plane accidents frequently occur in DR Congo, often blamed on ageing and poorly maintained aircraft, the flouting of safety rules and bad weather.

Each of its 50 or so airlines has been blacklisted by the European Union.

 

Date created : 2011-07-09

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