Humanitarian aid plane crashes, killing 17 on board

KINSHASA - A plane carrying humanitarian aid and 17 people on board has crashed into a mountain near Bukavu in the east of the Demcratic Republic of Congo.

KINSHASA - A plane carrying humanitarian aid and 17 people on board has crashed into a mountain near Bukavu in the east of the Demcratic Republic of Congo.

"The plane was found 15km northwest of Bukavu airport. There were 15 passengers and two crew on board," said Christophe Illemassene, spokesman for the United Nations (UN) office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs in Kinshasa yesterday.

The US-based company that contracted the plane, Air Serv, said there were "no known survivors". The company provides air transport for the international humanitarian community.

Air Serv said: "The aircraft was piloted by two crew members and carried 15 passengers. Aeriel survey by helicopter indicates that there are no known survivors."

The plane was reported missing late on Monday after it failed to land as scheduled at Bukavu, the provincial capital of South Kivu.

The circumstances of the accident are still unknown. The weather was reported to have been particularly bad in the mountainous South Kivu region on Monday, UN sources said.

Financed by international donors, Air Serv normally carries humanitarian aid workers throughout the DRC.

It also operates in Chad, Uganda, Mozambique, Iraq and Afghanistan. - Sapa-AFP

X