Bloomberg News

46 Confirmed Dead in Plane Crash in Democratic Republic of Congo

July 08, 2011

July 8 (Bloomberg) -- Forty-six people are confirmed dead in the crash of a Boeing 727 aircraft that was attempting to land during heavy rains in Kisangani in Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the chief executive of Hewa Bora Airways, the plane’s owner.

The aircraft carried 110 people and there were 53 confirmed survivors, Hewa Bora Chief Executive Officer Stavros Papaioannou said by phone from Kinshasa, Congo’s capital. Eleven people were not immediately accounted for.

The number of dead could increase, he said, noting that the hospitals in Kisangani “are not very well equipped” to save the lives of crash victims.

The plane crashed some 300 to 600 meters (328 to 656 yards) from the Kisangani runway during a stopover from Kinshasa to Goma in eastern Congo, Papaioannou said.

“We are waiting for an investigation to clarify exactly what was the reason for the crash,” he said.

All of Congo’s airlines are prohibited from flying in the European Union, according to the bloc’s list of banned carriers, which was last updated on April 21.

In April 2008, a Hewa Bora Airways plane crashed on takeoff in Goma, killing 37 people on the ground, three on the plane, and injuring another 202.

--Editor: Terry Atlas, Jodi Schneider

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael J. Kavanagh in Kinshasa at mkavanagh9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ana Monteiro at amonteiro4@bloomberg.net


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