Fifty-three feared dead in DR Congo plane crash

KINSHASA,  (Reuters) – Fifty-three people were feared  dead today after a plane crashed as it tried to land in bad  weather at Kisangani airport in eastern Democratic Republic of  Congo, the Congolese airline operating the flight said.
“The pilot tried to land but apparently they didn’t touch  the runway,” Stavros Papaioannou, chief executive of Hewa Bora  airline, told Reuters by telephone.
“Fifty-three dead, that is the last figure I have,” he said  later, cautioning that the toll was likely to be revised.
Separately, government spokesman Lambert Mende said he had  been told that rescue services had pulled 40 survivors from the  wreckage of the Boeing 727.
The accident at the international airport of Kisangani, a  local commercial centre and river port town, is the latest in a  string of disasters that has saddled the vast central African  country with one of the worst air safety records in the world.
Hewa Bora is on a European Union list of airlines banned due  to security concerns, as are all carriers certified in Congo.

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