DR Congo plane crashes in rainstorm, 127 dead

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.

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