Nearly 40 hurt in new DRC plane accident

2018-12-26 10:01
Democratic Republic of Congo (iStock)

Democratic Republic of Congo (iStock)

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Thirty eight people, mostly Congolese soldiers, were hurt on Monday when an Antonov transport plane missed its landing at Beni in eastern Democratic Republic Congo, military officials said.

The plane was carrying 68 passengers and four crew, they said. There were no fatalities.

"There are 38 injured, including the four crew, and 26 Congolese soldiers with another 8 soldiers in serious condition," said Lieutenant Somwe Mulimbi, in charge of security at Beni airport.

A regional spokesperson for the army, Captain Make Hazukai, said the plane "missed its landing" but did not give further details about the accident.

The Soviet-Russian Antonov is routinely used for troop transport and freight in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Last Thursday an Antonov 26 chartered by the national electoral commission to deliver election material crashed near Kinshasa.

The plane, operated by the company Gomair, was about to land after flying to the central city of Tshikapa.

Five crew and one passenger died, according to an air-traffic control official. Russia said three of its citizens, who were crew members, were among the dead.

Presidential, legislative and provincial elections were due to have been held last Sunday, defusing a two-year-old crisis over the future of President Joseph Kabila.

But national election supervisors ordered a week-long postponement, blaming a warehouse fire that destroyed voting machines and ballot papers earmarked for Kinshasa.

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