Dozens dead after plane crashes into homes in DR Congo

At least 27 people died after a passenger plane crashed into houses in the city of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The small aircraft went down shortly after taking off from the city’s airport on Sunday morning. The cause of the crash is still unclear.

The plane was carrying 17 passengers and two crew members.

The victims included nine people from the same family who were in one of the houses hit in the Mapendo area.

The Dornier-228 twin-turboprop aircraft – owned by private carrier Busy Bee – crashed about a minute after take-off.

The plane had been scheduled to fly to Beni, 350 km (220 miles) north of Goma.

A witness, Djemo Medar, said he saw the plane “spinning three times in the air and emitting a lot of smoke”.

Experts suspect the plane to have experienced an engine failure right after take-off

Air accidents are frequent in the DR Congo. Poor safety standards and poor maintenance, and all the country’s commercial carriers are banned from operating in the European Union.