UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – Thirty-two people died when a UN plane crashed as it tried to land in torrential rain in the Democratic Republic of Congo capital on Monday, a UN spokesman said.
It is one of the worst disasters ever involving UN transport.
“We can now confirm that there was only one survivor from the 33 people on the MONUSCO plane which crashed today,” UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said.
The Fokker 100 plane, run by the UN mission in DR Congo, MONUSCO, smashed into pieces when it hit the runway as the pilot tried to land in torrential rain, witnesses said.
The plane was carrying UN officials and peacekeepers travelling from the northeastern city of Kisangani to Kinshasa’s N’Djili airport, according to a MONUSCO statement.
Plane accidents are common in DR Congo, but this is the first involving UN transport.
The United Nations has a fleet of more than a dozen planes in the country to transport MONUSCO personnel, journalists and staff of international and local non-governmental organizations.