Two survive Congo plane crash

Nineteen people perished when the small plane came down near the capital, Kinshasa, after apparently running out of fuel.

KINSHASA // A plane crashed after having trouble landing in western Democratic Republic of Congo Wednesday, killing at least 19 people although two survived, a deputy provincial governor said. The plane from the capital Kinshasa crashed just before 1200 GMT after being unable to land at an airport in the city of Bandundu and apparently running out of fuel, the official said. "They have brought out the people, we have 19 bodies in the morgue and two survivors," said Muteba, the deputy governor of Bandundu province. The pilot, co-pilot and stewardess were among the dead, he added. Muteba said that after failing to land, the plane turned away and came down hard towards the edge of the city. "Subject to expert opinion ... the presumed cause could be a lack of fuel," he said. The Let-410 aircraft, a Czech-made short-range twin turboprop that normally carries up to 19 passengers, was operated by private Congo company Filair. DRC's aviation sector, which is littered with ageing Soviet-era planes, is generally viewed as being in a chronic state of disrepair and crashes are frequent. All of DRC's 50-odd registered airlines have been placed on a European Union blacklist, banning them from flying into European airspace. * Agence France-Presse

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