DRC plane crash kills 23

Twenty-three bodies were recovered on Sunday after a small plane crashed on takeoff into a densely populated area of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, rescue workers said.

Twenty-three bodies were recovered on Sunday after a small plane crashed on takeoff into a densely populated area of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, rescue workers said.

"We are up to 23 bodies now," Goma rescue service coordinator Joseph Makundi told AFP.

Goma airport official Richard Mangolopa told AFP no survivors were expected from the disaster.

The Dornier-228 aircraft had been headed for Beni, 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of Goma when it went down in a residential area near the airport in the east of the country.

The aircraft was run by Busy Bee Congo.

Busy Bee, a recent company, has three planes serving routes in North Kivu province. They connect the cities Goma, Butembo and Beni in daily flights, provides charters and medical evacuations. The company’s Dornier 228-200 can carry up to 19 passengers.

"There were 17 passengers on board and two crew members. It took off around 9-9.10 am (0700 GMT)," Busy Bee airline staff member Heritier Said Mamadou said, suggesting that some on the ground may have been killed as well.

One of the company's maintenance workers at the site quoted by news site actualite.cd blamed a "technical problem".

The total number of casualties on the ground was not yet known. The local news website Actualite.cd reports that a fire that erupted as a result of the crash was “under control“ and that an unspecified number of wounded “had been evacuated.”

(With AFP)