Plane Crashes in Congo Capital

At least 19 dead in all-too-common accident
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2007 12:06 PM CDT
A police officer and onlookers stand on the engine of a crashed cargo plane, as they watch rescue efforts at the crash site in Kinshasa, Congo Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007. A cargo plane crashed in a residential...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A plane smashed into a crowded neighborhood in Kinshasa today, an all-too familiar occurrence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Officials don’t know how many were killed by the falling plane, which completely destroyed two houses, but witnesses told Reuters they saw at least six bodies pulled from the wreckage. All 17 aboard the plane were killed, the government said.

Firefighters in the Congo's capital fought through crowds to reach the wreckage, where at least four buildings were on fire. “Everybody in the houses must be dead,” one witness said. A similar crash in 1996 killed 350 in Kinshasa. Congo’s airlines are notoriously dangerous; almost all are blacklisted by the EU. Last month another Russian-built craft overshot a runway, killing eight.