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Fatalities Following Fokker 50 Crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Incident ‘Another Sign Of Desperate Need For Flight Safety Improvements’


By Rob Dixon

A fatal plane crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) involving a Fokker 50 turboprop aircraft is another tragic sign of the need for flight safety standards to improve in the country, according to aviation law experts who have acted in relation to previous crashes in the state.

Reports have emerged that the plane operated by Compagnie Africaine d’Aviation (CAA) crashed in the city of Goma in the east of the country, killing 6 of the 9 occupants onboard.

The incident is the latest in a string of major plane crashes in the country in recent years, following a Hew Bora Airways Boeing 737 crash at Kisangani in July 2011, where 74 were killed, and around 12 months after a Katanga Express Grumman G-1159C Gulfstream IV crashed while attempting to land in Bukavu killing 4 including a senior government adviser.

Jim Morris, a former RAF pilot and Partner in Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Aviation Law team, represents victims left with serious injuries in air accidents, as well as the families of those killed in such incidents. Jim and the aviation team have vast experience in acting for victims involved in air accidents worldwide, and in countries including DRC, Cameroon, Tanzania, Nigeria, Libya, Sudan and Malawi.

Commenting on this latest incident, he said: “Many of the details surrounding this crash remain sketchy and we hope that authorities in the country will be able to work to quickly and thoroughly provide more information about the exact circumstances of this incident, via a preliminary accident report.

“While some speculation has emerged regarding weather conditions, other issues the authorities should consider will be the actions of the crew, as well as any technical or mechanical faults which may have played a part.

“As has been widely identified in the media, this is just the latest in a number of crashes in Congo and the ultimate aim of authorities needs to be ensuring that lessons are being learned from the incidents seen in the past.

“There are obvious concerns over flight safety in the country and both local people and travellers to the region will be seeking reassurances that steps are being taken to make significant improvements.”

“The survivors and the families of those killed will no doubt want to understand what caused this tragedy and will, in time, be seeking justice.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell’s expertise related to Air Accident Claims