Deadly plane crash in DR Congo's Goma

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A plane has crashed in Goma, the main city in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, killing at least five passengers, officials say.

It came down in the city centre shortly before it was due to land in bad weather at Goma airport.

A government spokesman said no-one appeared to have died on the ground as the plane fell in an empty area. Earlier reports suggested as many as 30 people had died.

DR Congo has a poor air safety record.

Its airlines have been banned by the European Union from flying into EU airspace.

Two years ago, 74 people were killed in a crash at the airport in the central city of Kisangani.

Last year, President Joseph Kabila's personal adviser, Augustin Katumba, was killed in a crash in the city of Bukavu.

'Field of disasters'

In the latest accident, the aircraft, a Fokker 50 owned by local company CAA, was flying in from the central mining town of Lodja when it came down in heavy rainfall, AFP reports.

It was not immediately clear how many people were on board, and darkness hampered the rescue operation, but local residents said there were survivors.

The plane crashed in the centre of Goma, near the electoral commission's building, but it did not hit any people on the ground, the city's mayor Naasson Kubuya told the Associated Press news agency.

"The pilot managed to avoid houses. It's a horrifying accident,'' Mr Kubuya was quoted as saying.

"The city of Goma has become a field of disasters. We sympathise with the families of the deceased.''

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