Puddle on runway cause plane crash with 40 dead

GOMA - A plane that crashed into a market in Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday, killing 40 people and injuring 100, developed engine trouble after going through water on the runway, aviation sources said yesterday.

GOMA - A plane that crashed into a market in Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday, killing 40 people and injuring 100, developed engine trouble after going through water on the runway, aviation sources said yesterday.

As rescuers battled to put out the final flames of the DC-9 jet crash in Goma, capital of the province of Nord-Kivu, airport sources said the troubles started as the jet hurtled toward take-off.

The sources reported the Hewa Bora Airlines crew as saying the plane developed mechanical problems after going through a puddle on the runway. They said the pilot decided to carry on before suddenly braking and losing control.

The runway was damaged by lava during a 2002 eruption of a nearby volcano. It is in disrepair, with broken tarmac all over.

The lava flow had reduced the runway by a third and aviation officials said planes now had to make short take-offs.

The rescue effort resumed yesterday. Bodies were still trapped under the mangled and burning metal, an AFP photographer said, adding that an overpowering stench permeated the area. - Sapa-AFP

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