Goma (Congo) | Jagran News Desk: As many as 24 people were killed in Congo on Sunday after a small plane crashed into a densely populated neighbourhood in the city of Goma. However, the cause of the crash is not known yet.

The aircraft, which was operated by local company Busy Bee, crashed shortly after take-off en route to the city of Beni, about 250 km (155 miles) to the north, North Kivu Governor Carly Nzanzu Kasivita's office, quoted by Reuters, said in a statement.

The plane -- 19-seater Dornier 228-200 -- had 16 passengers and two crew members on board, said the company in a statement. The aircraft had been headed for Beni, 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of Goma when it went down in a residential area near Goma airport. 

The vice president of North Kivu's parliament Jean Paul Lumbulumbu said that 24 bodies had been recovered from the rubble, including those of several people hit by falling debris. Meanwhile, a rescue worker told Reuters that 26 bodies have been discovered in the rescue operation so far.

At the crash site in Goma's Mapendo neighbourhood, residents threw water from buckets and cooking pots onto the smouldering wreckage. The rear section of the plane rested sideways, propped up by a wall, videos posted on social media showed, reported Reuters.

Air accidents are relatively frequent in Congo because of lax safety standards and poor maintenance. All Congolese commercial carriers, including Busy Bee, are banned from operating in the European Union.

A cargo plane departing from the same airport and carrying staff members of President Felix Tshisekedi crashed an hour after take-off last month, killing all eight people on board.

(With Reuters inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma