KISANGANI AIR CRASH KILLS SCORES
At least 53 occupants of the stricken B 727 which crashed short of the runway while on the final approach into Kisangani airport were reported to have died, while sources from Goma, also Eastern Congo, claim that over 40 passengers appear to have survived the crash. The aged B 727 came down short and available details on the weather conditions at the time of the crash were spoke of ‘heavy weather conditions’. This may have been a factor in the crash but as always other circumstances too will need looking into, leaving the accident’s exact causes to be established by the enquiry which will now go underway by the civil aviation authority in Kinshasa. Hewa Bora has in the recent past suffered two other fatal incidents when 3 years ago a DC 9 crashed in Goma on takeoff following an engine failure. This was some time later followed by the crash of a smaller commuter plane killing all 17 on board. Calls have emerged from sections of the aviation fraternity to close the airline down, as would most likely be the case anywhere else in the world, and ban the owners and their managers from engaging in any aviation business again.
The Congo has failed to implement aviation safety measures as demanded by ICAO and as a result all their airlines are banned from flying into the European Union but continue to fly domestic scheduled and charter flights and also fly to neighbouring countries. Condolences are extended to the families and friends of those who perished in the crash.
Another aircraft crash in the Congo DR has shaken that country, when reports began to emerge less than an hour ago that a plane belonging to EU banned Hewa Bora Airlines crashed while attempting to land. The aged Boeing 727 carried reportedly some 112 passengers and crew. Information at this stage is still sketchy but a number of passengers seem to have survived the crash and were rushed to local clinics and hospitals. The airport has according to added information received from sources in Goma been closed for operations while and accident investigation is expected to go underway involving staff of the totally discredited Congolese civil aviation body – unable to halt the seemingly never ending series of plane crashes in the country – while Boeing staff are also expected to assist in the unfolding investigation. It could not be ascertained at this time which foreign accident investigation organizations will be invited to join their Congolese counterparts in order to add expertise and experience in unearthing the causes of this lastest crash.
Congo has arguably the worst aviation accident rate in the world and all its airlines have been banned from flying into European airspace over safety concerns. Maintenance and crew training were in the past cited as major causes for crashes in Congo.
Watch this space as more information becomes available.