[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007, 18:22 GMT 19:22 UK
Chaos at Congolese crash scene
An hour after an Antonov 26 cargo plane ploughed into a densely populated area of the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, Kinshasa, the BBC's Emery Agalu Makumeno arrived at the crash site. He described the scene:

A firefighter at the scene of the plane crash
Firefighters battled to put out the fire in the cockpit

The situation in Kingasani was completely chaotic.

Firefighters were trying to put out the flames from the cockpit. The plane had hit a house within the compound where it had crashed.

The rest of the wreckage was completely burnt out, with rescue workers and young men from the area clambering on it to try to find bodies.

Riot police with shields were trying to keep the crowds back, threatening to beat people in order to keep them at bay as hundreds upon hundreds of people were rushing to the scene to find out what was going on.

Eyewitnesses told me that they believed the pilot had tried to avoid the nearby market, which was about 50m away from the compound.

As it came down, one of the aircraft's wings felled a tree and the roofs of five or six compounds were whipped off.

A compound in this area is probably home to about five or six families - up to 30 people - who live in several brick and corrugated-iron shacks.

The air was filled with the smoke - it was similar to tear gas and made you gag.

I saw one body being brought out of the fire - it was completely blackened.

A young man who lived in the neighbourhood told me he'd seen two severely burnt children who had been taken to hospital.

One Red Cross ambulance was going to and from Roi Baudouin Hospital - a 15-minute journey - with those injured.

I also saw some police pick-up trucks that were stained with blood, which must have also been helping to transport injured people.

Motorcade sirens kept blaring to bring in various dignitaries, like the governor of Kinshasa and MPs, who came to see the crash site for themselves.




FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific