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Deadly Crash Highlights Air Travel Dangers in Congo

April 15, 2008 05:54 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
75 possible fatalities feared, and many injuries reported after a Congolese jetliner crashed into a busy neighborhood while taking off Tuesday.

30-Second Summary

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Although media reports varied Tuesday afternoon, witnesses reported that dozens of bodies were pulled from the wreckage of the DC-9 plane, operated by Congolese carrier Hewa Bora Airways.

CNN reported that at least 75 people died in the crash, which occurred when the plane tore the roofs off houses as it ran into a crowded marketplace near the runway upon takeoff. Fifteen passengers survived, according to the story.

The jet, which some reports say was carrying 85 passengers, was leaving from the Goma airport in the Democratic Republic of Congo and headed for the city of Kisangani.

An official cause for the incident has not yet been cited, but Congolese lawmaker Antoine Ghonda told reporters that one of the plane’s engines failed as it was taking off, and that weather was not a factor.

The crash marks yet another deadly incident in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s aviation record. According to the Aviation Safety Network, there have been 10 other plane crashes there since February, 2007, killing 76 people in total.

Just last week, the European Union added Hewa Bora to its list of banned airlines—50 of which are based in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Headline Links: Congolese jet crashes into busy marketplace

Related Topics: Deadly plane crashes in Africa and elsewhere

Reference: The Democratic Republic of Congo’s dismal track record

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