Twenty-three bodies found in DR Congo plane crash: rescue service

The plane, operated by the local company Busy Bee, crashed during takeoff for a flight to the city of Beni [Pamela Tulizo/AFP [AFP]

An official said no survivors were expected from a small plane believed to have been carrying 19 passengers and crew.

Twenty-three bodies were recovered on Sunday after a small plane crashed on takeoff into a densely populated area of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, rescue workers said.

“We are up to 23 bodies now,” Goma rescue service coordinator Joseph Makundi told AFP.

Goma airport official Richard Mangolopa told AFP no survivors were expected from the disaster.

The Dornier-228 aircraft had been headed for Beni, 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of Goma when it went down in a residential area near the airport in the east of the country.

“There were 17 passengers on board and two crew members. It took off around 9-9.10 am (0700 GMT),” Busy Bee airline staff member Heritier Said Mamadou said.

Busy Bee, a recent company, has three planes serving routes in North Kivu province.

One of the company’s maintenance workers at the site quoted by news site actualite.cd blamed a “technical problem”.

The number of casualties on the ground was not yet known.

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