Corrected: U.N. plane crashes in Congo, at least 20 dead

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 04, 2011 1:57 PM

(Corrects paragraph 3 to clarify that there were 29 passengers and three crew members on board)

By Jonny Hogg

KINSHASA (Reuters) - A United Nations plane crashed while trying to land at the airport serving Congo's capital Kinshasa on Monday, killing least 20 people, a government official said.

The plane lost control in high winds as it came in to land and left the runway, the Health Ministry official, Joseph Kiboko, said.

He told Reuters that at least 20 of the 29 passengers and three crew had died.

"We sent eight people to hospital who were still breathing, but I don't know whether they survived. Both the pilots were killed."

A U.N. source, who asked not to be named, said: "The plane landed heavily, broke into two and caught fire."

Twenty U.N. workers were listed as on board the flight.

A Reuters correspondent at the airport said the Bombardier CRJ-300 jet was completely destroyed and the wreckage was lying at the end of the runway.

The plane was coming from Goma via Kisangani in the east of the country,the source said.

(Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Kevin Liffey)