A small plane with 19 people on board has crashed in the eastern city of Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to local officials.
The plane, operated by the local company Busy Bee, crashed during takeoff for a flight to the city of Beni, North Kivu Governor Carly Nzanzu Kasivita’s office said in a statement on Sunday.
The crash is believed to have caused fatalities but the number of dead was not immediately clear.
The Dornier-228 aircraft crashed into a residential area near Goma airport, AFP news agency reported.
Heritier Said Mamadou, Busy Bee airline staff member, told AFP the plane was carrying 17 passengers and two crew members.
“It took off around 9-9.10am (07:00 GMT),” Mamadou said.
Air accidents are relatively frequent in the DRC because of lax safety standards and poor maintenance.
All of the country’s commercial carriers, including Busy Bee, are prohibited from operating in the European Union.
In October, a cargo plane also departing from the same airport crashed an hour after take-off, killing all eight passengers and crew.