A plane carrying 112 people crashed on Friday as it tried to land at Kisangani international airport in Democratic Republic of Congo, Congolese airline Hewa Bora said.
“The pilot tried to land but apparently they didn’t touch the runway,” Stavros Papaioannou, chief executive of Hewa Bora airline, told Reuters by telephone.
“Fifty-three dead, that is the last figure I have,” he said, while cautioning that the toll was likely to be revised.
Government spokesman Lambert Mende said he had been told that rescue services had pulled 40 survivors from the wreckage of the Boeing 727.
Hewa Bora is on a European Union list of airlines banned due to security concerns, as are all carriers certified in the central African country which has one of the worst air transport security records in the world.