KINSHASA, (Reuters) – An airliner ploughed into dense forest as it tried to land during a rainstorm in the Democratic Republic of Congo yesterday, killing 127 people on board, the Congolese transport ministry said.
There were 51 survivors, a ministry statement said.
The chief executive of the airline involved in the crash told Reuters earlier that there had been 110 people on board the plane, of whom 53 had died and 57 survived.
But a spokesman for the transport ministry, Gudile Bualya, accused the airline of underestimating the number of passengers.
The accident at the international airport of Kisangani, a commercial centre and river port town in the east, is the latest in a string of disasters in the vast central African country which has saddled it with one of the worst air safety records in the world. “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.