Website in English Site en français

Hewa Bora Airways DC-9-51 plane crash
Goma, Congo

Hewa Bora Airways DC-9-51 plane crash - Goma, Congo

Updated on

Goma, CongoThe DC-9 chartered by Hewa Bora Airways was taking off from Goma on a flight to the Congolese capital Kinshasa when it came down in the teeming market district of Birere, a warren of single-storey shops which were crowded at that time of day.

The plane developed problem during takeoff and the pilot tried to brake. But the DC-9 skidded on water on the runway and crashed in the village located at the end of the runway. Residents heard a big explosion, which set several buildings on fire. A large plume of smoke rose from the crash site. Half of the plane has broken off. There is a fire towards the back.

At the crash scene, the damaged cockpit and tail were visible, and in between was the fuselage - a burned, flattened and tangled mixture of rubble and debris and charred shops. The plane appeared to have burst through a thin fence separating the runway from a market district of wooden houses and cement shops where sugar, avocados, flour and fuel are sold.

It is unknown yet exactly how many people were onboard and how many were killed. Conflicting reports indicates approximately 86 passengers and 8 crewmembers were onboard. 3 passengers died, but 37 people were killed on ground. More than one hundred people were injured, and severe damages were reported on ground.

Potholes are part of the problem on the runway at Goma airport, which was damaged by lava during a 2002 eruption of a nearby volcano. It is in disrepair with broken tarmac all over. The lava flow had reduced the runway by a third and aviation officials said planes now had to make short takeoffs.

Aircraft similar to the one which crashed (DC-9-51)
Aircraft similar to the one which crashed (DC-9-51)
Goma, Congo
Goma, Congo (Red dot on map)

Photos of the Hewa Bora Airways DC-9-51 crash