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127 dead as plane crashes in the Congo

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 said that there had been 110 people on board the plane, of whom 53 had died. But a spokesman for the transport ministry accused the airline of underestimating the number of passengers.

The accident, at the international airport of Kisangani, is the latest in a string of disasters in the central African country.

"The pilot tried to land but apparently they didn't touch the runway," Stavros Papaioannou, chief executive of Hewa Bora airline, said.

Hewa Bora is on a European Union list of airlines banned due to security concerns.

Irish Independent