Russian pilot among two killed in DR. Congo crash

15th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

A small plane used to deliver World Food Programme aid crashed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing its Russian pilot and his Congolese co-pilot, the airport said Tuesday.

The twin-engine Czech-made Let-410 crashed minutes before it was due to land in the city of Bukavu on Monday after it struck a hill in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park, an airport official said on condition of anonymity.

The pilots were the only people onboard the plane, owned by private Congolese company African Air Services, which was returning from a mission to deliver seeds on behalf of the World Food Programme, the official said.

Plane crashes are frequent in the vast central African country and all of the Democratic Republic of Congo's about 50 aviation companies are on a blacklist of the European Union, which bans them from its air space.

© 2011 AFP

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