AT least three people died in a plane crash in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s South Kivu province on Thursday, the provincial transport minister said, while another local official said the death toll could be as high as five.
The plane went down in the village of Keisha, around 15 km (9 miles) from the territorial headquarters town of Shabunda, officials said.
Provincial transport minister Mathieu Malumbi said that at least three of six people on board had been killed. Emergency services were dispatched to the site to locate survivors and determine the cause of the crash, he said.
Speaking to Reuters over the phone from the Shabunda airfield, where the plane had been expected to land, Shabunda’s administrator Kashombana Bin Salé said that five people were aboard the flight, all of whom died in the crash.
“We sent a team to the village of Keisha where we learned that the crash had taken place,” Salé said. “On their return, they informed us that the plane was burned and that five people on board were dead.”
It is not clear what company operated the flight.
Air accidents are common in eastern Congo. At least 27 people were killed in 2019 when a small plane crashed into a densely populated part of Goma.