World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UN In DR Congo Saddened Over Goma Plane Crash

UN officials in DR Congo voice sadness in wake of deadly plane crash in Goma

16 April 2008 - Senior United Nations officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have expressed their sorrow and sympathy to the many victims of yesterday's plane crash in the north-eastern city of Goma, which has killed dozens of people.

Alan Doss, the Secretary-General's Special Representative in the DRC and the head of the UN peacekeeping mission (MONUC) to the vast African country, pledged the continued involvement of the UN in rescue operations.

UN spokesperson Michele Montas told journalists that there are conflicting reports as to the number and identity of the victims from the crash, which took place about 2:45 p.m. as the Hewa Bora Airlines plane was attempting to take off from Goma, bound for the Congolese capital, Kinshasa.

MONUC reports that between 21 and 37 people have died, with the survivors including three UN staff members and one dependent of a UN worker. More than 100 others are injured.

But more than 70 people were reported to have been aboard the plane when it crashed into the densely populated Birere neighbourhood of Goma. It is not clear whether the victims were passengers or also included residents of Birere.

"It seems that the majority of deaths are from those that were in the houses which surround the airport, but we also heard that many passengers were able to exit alive from the plane," Ross Mountain, the Secretary-General's Deputy Special Representative in the DRC, told a press conference in Kinshasa.

He said MONUC was working with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Congolese authorities to assist the victims and their families.

MONUC personnel securing the crash site have also located the plane's black box flight recorder, which Mr. Mountain said would be vital to the investigation into the cause of the disaster.

DRC has been plagued by an extremely poor aviation safety record, and just last Friday the European Union banned Hewa Bora Airlines from flying in its airspace because of safety issues.

"We hope that there will be fewer accidents in the future," Mr. Mountain said. "Unfortunately, there is much to repair in the country. It is necessary to look at how the regulations can be reinforced. It is a question of management of the planes, of maintenance for the airports. There's a lot of work to be done."

ENDS

Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives | RSS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC