SA Air Force plane crash lands and catches fire in DRC - 67 people safe
An SA Air Force transport aircraft crashed and caught fire during landing on Thursday at Goma airport in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Images shared on social media showed damage to the left wing of the C-130BZ aircraft and there appeared to have been an engine fire.
Reuters confirmed the incident via a UN spokesperson.
Videos on social media showed smoke rising from the airplane but two sources at the airport, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters there did not appear to be major damage to the plane.
Reuters journalist Fiston Mahamba said in a tweet, translated from French: “67 people were rescued including eight crew members and 59 passengers. All passengers are safe and sound.”
The aircraft was also reportedly carrying cargo.
#RDC/#Goma: 67 personnes secourues dont 8 membres d'équipage et 59 passagers. Tous les passagers sont sains et saufs.— F I S T O N M A H A M B A (@FMLarousse) January 9, 2020
L'avion avait également à son bord du cargon. L'aile gauche de ce C-130BZ de la South African Air Force a pris feu à l'atterrissage.https://t.co/T4Ex457z9C https://t.co/fB2F2Wzai8 pic.twitter.com/y3AvwtL4RF
The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) confirmed just before 5pm that one of its aircraft deployed in the DRC as part of the UN peacekeeping mission was damaged after crash landing at Goma on Thursday.
“The C130 from the SA Air Force was on its way back to Goma after delivering logistic supplies at Beni when the incident happened,” the department of defence said in a statement.
“Nobody was injured during the landing and a board of inquiry will be convened to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.”