PRETORIA, March 5 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo cannot confirm or deny the information on the death of Russian citizens in the crash of a Fokker 50 airplane in the eastern city of Goma that appeared in some online media sources.
“I cannot confirm or deny this information so far,” Russian consul Alexander Tkachev told Itar-Tass by phone.
There had been controversial reports on the death toll. The governor of the province of North Kivu Province, Julien Paluku, said from thirty to fifty people may be killed in the crash. Goma mayor Naasson Kubuya said there were forty people onboard the plane, of them 36 died.
The airliner crashed in the centre of the city close to the central election commission’s building, but did not hit any people on the ground.
Police reported that it found only five bodies on the site of the crash and three survivors were hospitalized.
Sources in the airport said there were nine people onboard, including three crewmembers.
According to preliminary information, the plane owned by the private airline CAA crashed just 7 kilometers from the landing strip amid pouring rain.
The twin-turboprop short-haul airliner Fokker 50 is capable of carrying up to 58 passengers.