A military cargo plane belonging to the Democratic Republic of Congo today, September 30, 2017, crashed in the capital Kinshasha killing all the 12 crew members on board.
Congolese Defense Minister Crispin Atama Tabe was quoted as saying, “I confirm that a military aircraft crashed this morning.”
It’s reported that the cargo plane caught fire shortly after taking off from Kinshasa’s N‘djili Airport and crashed in a nearby reserve controlled by the military’s elite Republican Guard units at about 900HRS.
An unnamed army officer said that there were both Congolese and foreigners among the dead. Another source said the plane was an Antonov 12 destined for the eastern city of Bukavu, Reuters says.
A Russian crew could be among the dead
While other agency reports could not confirm the true nationality of the foreigner on board, The Hindu says the foreign member is a Russian. The cargo was carrying “two vehicles and weapons” and military personnel, a source at the army’s headquarters told AFP, also speaking on condition of anonymity.
He said there were “between 20 and 30 people” on board when it took off from Ndolo airport in Kinshasa.
It’s still unknown whether anyone on ground was killed as “soldiers prevented journalists from approaching the crash site, but billowing smoke could be seen from several kilometres away,” a Reuters witness said.