Many dead as plane crashes into homes in DR Congo

(BBC) – At least 24 people have died after a passenger plane crashed into houses in Goma city in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, local officials say.

Residents on the ground, including four family members, were among the victims.

The small aircraft went down in the Mapendo neighbourhood after “missing” its take-off from the city’s airport on Sunday morning, North Kivu regional governor Nzanzu Kasivita said.

The officials say 17 passengers and two crew members were onboard the plane.

Air accidents are relatively frequent in DR Congo amid lax safety standards and poor maintenance, and all the country’s commercial carriers are banned from operating in the European Union.

What is known about the air disaster?

The Dornier-228 twin-turboprop aircraft – owned by private carrier Busy Bee – crashed about a minute after take-off, a source at Goma airport told the BBC.

The plane had been scheduled to fly to Beni, 350km (220 miles) north of Goma.

A Dornier 228-200 plane operated by local company Busy Bee is seen at the Goma International airport in Goma in picture taken on 24 March

The cause of the crash is still unclear, but some sources said the plane experienced engine failure right after take-off, the BBC’s Emery Makumeno reports from the capital, Kinshasa.

Rescue workers and local residents rushed to the crash site to evacuate the injured and also retrieve the bodies.

It was not immediately known how many residents were in their homes when the plane crashed.

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