A small passenger plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Congo’s eastern city of Goma, killing 26 people, including passengers, crew and people on the ground, the government said.
The victims included nine people from the same family who were in one of the houses hit in the Mapendo area.
The plane, operated by local company Busy Bee, went down after shortly take-off in the eastern city of Goma, North Kivu Governor Carly Nzanzu Kasivita’s office said in a statement.
Two survivors, including one member of the crew, were being cared for at a local hospital, according to the National Border Health Program.
Placide Kambale, a local pilot, said he took a taxi to the scene of the crash to help out. When he got there, the plane was on fire. “I called other young people from the neighbourhood, they helped me to try to remove those who still moved, he said. We have managed to recover two that was quickly sent to the hospital, but then the fire expanded.”
The UN mission in Congo said it sent an emergency crash and rescue team with two fire engines to support Congolese authorities.
The company said the 19-seater Dornier 228-200 had 16 passengers and two crew members on board. The aircraft was headed for the city of Beni, 350km (220 miles) north of Goma, when it went down.
Busy Bee, a recently established company, has three planes serving routes in the North Kivu province.
Air accidents are relatively frequent in the DRC because of rleaxed safety standards and poor maintenance. All of the country’s commercial carriers, including Busy Bee, are prohibited from operating in the European Union.