DRC Plane Crash Kills 36, With 4 Survivors

on March 4, 2013 6:24 PM EST

DRC plane crash 2013
DRC plane crash leaves 36 dead: pictured, a 2011 plane crash in the DRC which killed 127 people. (Photo: Reuters / Video screenshot)

A jet carrying 40 passengers crashed in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo on Monday, killing dozens of those onboard, according to Congolese officials.

The aircraft, belonging to the private airline CAA, was traveling from the central mining town of Lodja when it crashed into a residential area during heavy rainfall just before landing at Goma Airport in the North Kivu Province, News24 reports. According to police sources, the survivors have been hospitalized.

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Due to antiquated aircraft and a lack modern equipment in many of its airports, plane crashes in the region are more frequent than in other parts of the world. According to a 2006 study by the Aviation Safety Network,  Africa was deemed the most unsafe continent for airline travel, with 18.5 percent of all fatal airliner accidents occurring there, even though the continent only accounts for about three percent of world flights. Just last year, a close aide to President Joseph Kabila was killed in Bukavu, a city in the eastern DRC, when his plane overshot the runway at Bukavu Airport.

The DRC's blemished record has caused the European Union to ban all DRC airlines from operating within the EU's airspace. The EU's blacklist, first published in 2006, includes airlines from countries deemed to be poorly regulated and to have a number of safety concerns. Other countries on the EU's list include Swaziland, Zambia, Sudan and Liberia.  

The news of the crash in the DRC comes on the heels of another plane crash early Monday in the French Alps, in which one young girl survived. The small passenger jet experienced trouble shortly after leaving a small airport in Annemasse, a town about three miles from Geneva. Firefighters found the girl among the wreckage of the twin-engined corporate jet, alive but with several fractures. The aircraft hit a house before crashing into the backyard of a neighboring home, a state official told Reuters. Two other people were killed in the French Alps crash.

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