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UPDATE: Plane crash kills 23 at DR Congo city

The Dornier-228 aircraft had been headed for Beni, 350 kilometres north of Goma when it went down. It crashed into a residential area near Goma airport.

Residents react after a small aircraft carrying around 15 passengers crashed in a densely populated area in Goma on the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo on 24 November 2019. Picture: AFP

GOMA – Twenty-three bodies were recovered on Sunday after a small plane crashed on takeoff into a densely populated area of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, rescue workers said.

"We are up to 23 bodies now," Goma rescue service coordinator Joseph Makundi told AFP.

Goma airport official Richard Mangolopa told AFP no survivors were expected from the disaster.

The Dornier-228 aircraft had been headed for Beni, 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of Goma when it went down in a residential area near the airport in the east of the country.

"There were 17 passengers on board and two crew members. It took off around 9-9.10 am (0700 GMT)," Busy Bee airline staff member Heritier Said Mamadou said.

Busy Bee, a recent company, has three planes serving routes in North Kivu province.

One of the company's maintenance workers at the site quoted by news site actualite.cd blamed a "technical problem".

The number of casualties on the ground was not yet known.

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