Wed, May 25, 2005
Victoria Air Charter Under Contract To Maniema Union
A chartered Antonov An-12 went down
in Africa Wednesday, killing all 26 people onboard, according to
civil aviation authorities.
The chartered aircraft was headed from Goma, in the eastern part
of the Congo, to Kindu, another town in the region, when it
apparently crashed shortly after take-off.
"We can't say if there was a crash or a forced landing. These
are things we don't know now," Raymond Sangara, a member of the
Congolese Civil Aviation Authority, told the Associated Press.
Sangara said controllers lost contact with the aircraft
approximately three minutes after it departed the airport at Goma.
UN helicopters and a Congolese military search plane scoured the
area for wreckage, but had found nothing by Wednesday night.
It was the third Antonov mishap in the Congo since December,
2003, according to news reports. As ANN reported in real time May 5th, an AN-26
went down in Central Congo, killing ten of the eleven people on
The Congo has a major transportation problem -- years of armed
conflict have left the country's roads virtually impassable. Towns
and even major cities have become isolated and the general
population depends largely on rickety boats and questionable flying
cast-offs from the former Soviet Union as transportation
The fighting has continued to rock eastern Congo, although there
were no reports of battles in the Goma area at the time of the most
recent aviation mishap.
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