A small passenger plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Congo's eastern city of Goma, killing 26 people. The casualties included passengers, crew and people on the ground.
The local government said that the 19-seater aircraft crashed into residential homes on Sunday in the Mapendo district near Goma's airport in the North Kivu province. The Dornier 228-200 aircraft was owned by private carrier Busy Bee. The plane was headed to Beni, about 350km (220 miles) north of Goma.
There are two survivors, including one member of the crew, according to the National Border Health Program. The survivors are being cared for at a local hospital, it said.
Following the crash, black smoke rose from the remains of the plane Sunday morning. After it cleared, rescue workers carried bodies on stretchers. Initially, authorities said that the number of casualties was 17, but later the number jumped to 26, including seven Goma residents.
Placide Kambale, a local pilot, said he took a taxi to the scene of the crash to help out.
"I called other young people from the neighborhood, they helped me to try to remove those who still moved," he said. "We have managed to recover two that was quickly sent to the hospital," but then the fire expanded.
The UN mission in Congo said it sent an emergency crash and rescue team with two fire engines to the scene.
There have been several plane crashes in the region in the past due to poor maintenance and relaxed air safety standards.