Republic of Congo gov't sets up team to investigate plane crash

15:14, March 22, 2011      

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The Republic of Congo government has set up a joint committee to investigate the cause of the crash of a cargo plane which happened on Monday in the country's second largest city of Pointe-Noire.

A source from the country's civil aviation authority told Xinhua that the provisional death toll from the plane crash is 14, and several others were seriously injured.

The committee is comprised of government members, representatives of the police service as well as private operators in the air transport sector.

A few hours after the accident which happened at 3:30 p.m. local time (1430GMT), a special plane carrying officials from the country's transport ministry, civil aviation authority, police investigators and officials of the Trans Air Congo company flew to Pointe-Noire to examine the situation on the ground.

Police said Monday that the dead included two pilots, two machinists and five passengers who had illegally boarded the plane. Police warned that more casualties may be reported.

The plane from the Congolese capital Brazzaville crashed into a residential area in the city failing to land on the sea, because of mechanic problems.

Ambulances rushed to the scene to move the bodies of victims to a morgue and the injured to the hospital, the witnesses said.

The accident was the second in the Central African country since 2009, when an Antonov cargo plane crashed in the suburbs of Brazzaville.

In 2008, the Congolese government banned the type of Antonov from being used as a passenger plane.

Source: Xinhua
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