See also:
» 04.01.2010 - DRC population still unharmed by volcano
» 20.07.2009 - Rare gorillas flee to DRC
» 08.05.2009 - DRC in the face of another volcanic eruption
» 16.09.2008 - Football riots kill 13 in Congo
» 04.09.2008 - Villagers attack UN convoy
» 02.09.2008 - Missing aircraft crash in Congo
» 25.07.2008 - 47 drown in DRC
» 23.11.2007 - 409 Congolese repatriated

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Congo Kinshasa

DR Congo plane crash bodies found

afrol News, 5 September - Remains of 17 people who were aboard a plane that crashed in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have been found, United Nations officials have said. The plane was carrying two crew members and 15 passengers.

On Monday, a small plane was on its way from Kisangani to Bukavu, when it lost contact with ground control as it approached landing ground due to bad weather.

Passengers on board were aid workers, seven of whom worked for United Nations, while others worked for private international humanitarian agencies.

The victims include Canadian, Indian, French and Congolese nationals - some were working for aid groups, Medicins Sans Frontieres and Handicap International.

Search and rescue teams located site of the accident, some 16 km northwest of Bukavu airport. Plane's black box flight recorder has also been found and will help determine cause of plane crash.

"We have recovered 17 bodies of the victims and we are going to transport them to Bukavu," Lt Col Jean-Paul Dietrich, military spokesman for UN peacekeeping mission in DR Congo, was quoted as saying.

The plane which started the journey in capital Kinshasa had made several stops on way to Bukavu and lost contact with ground control after leaving it's last stop Kisangani on Monday evening.

It was believed that plane had crashed into mountains but Mr Dietrich said it only broke across the mountain and bodies were in good condition, adding that "It's possible that their death was not immediate".

Heavy fog had prevented rescuers from getting to the site, while wreckage was seen on Tuesday.

While plane was operated by Air Service, it provided air transport for international aid agencies who arrange their own travel for staff in DR Congo because of the country's poor air safety record.

"Progress of positive identification of remains will now be undertaken," said UN spokesperson Michele Montas.

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