Six killed in Congo plane crash

Five Ukrainian crew members and one Congolese passenger died yesterday when an Antonov 12 cargo plane crashed near the capital Brazzaville, the Congo Republic’s ministry of transport said.
The plane had taken off from Pointe Noire, the country’s economic capital, at 5am and crashed an hour later about 20km south of its destination, Brazzaville, Transport Minister Emile Ouosso told journalists yesterday.
“The toll is six dead, five Ukrainian (crew) and one Congolese passenger whose name was not on the manifest,” Ouosso said, revising a previous statement he gave saying two Congolese passengers had been killed in the crash, Reuters reports.
The plane was being operated by Brazzaville-based Aero Fret Business.

The minister could not give any further details on the reason for the crash but he said it was carrying 20 tons of goods, a normal amount for the plane, and investigators had been sent to the scene to retrieve the black box.

Many in Central Africa rely on Antonov aircraft to travel around the region due to the lack of roads but crashes are frequent because of ageing planes and the lack of maintenance.

In 2007, Congo’s government banned passengers from travelling on Antonovs but the Antonov 12 cargo aircraft are still allowed to ferry goods on the 500km between Brazzaville and Pointe Noire.