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DR Congo air crash injures finance minister

(Xinhuanet.com)

09:04, February 13, 2012

KINSHASA, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- A plane crash occurred in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, killing a presidential adviser and injuring the Central African country's finance minister, according to the government.

Finance Minister Matata Ponyo Mapon was seriously injured in the accident, which was located near Bukavu, the provincial capital of South Kivu.

The government did not release the total casualties, although its statement indicated they might involve several central and local government officials.

A provincial official, who declined to be named, told Xinhua that the plane owned by former lawmaker Katumba Mwake crashed at the airport of Kavumu. Mwake and South Kivu Governor Marcelin Cishambo were also on board.

Presidential adviser Augustin Katumba Mwanke and one of the co- pilots were killed, the official said, adding Governor Cishambo was taken to hospital after the crash, in which most of the dozen or so passengers survived.

The accident was another one since Jan. 30, when an Antonov 28 plane with five persons on board crashed in the forest in the eastern province of Maniema. Three people died and two others survived in the crash.

DR Congo is known for poorly maintained airports and lacking proper technical control mechanisms and a system to verify professional licences.

Congolese airlines are blacklisted by the European Union for safety and management.

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