DRC: Kinshasa Plane Crash “Will Not Be the Last”

Du Cabiau à Kinshasa, a Belgian living in Congo, writes (Fr) about last week's plane crash in Kimbanseke, a poor and densely-populated neighborhood in Kinshasa.

At least 50 were killed in the crash and dozens more injured. The transport minister has since been dismissed for “his inability to reform the aviation sector.”

Du Cabiau à Kinshasa thinks the accident was all but inevitable:

Cet accident était mille fois prévisible. Étant donné l'absence quasi totale d'infrastructures terrestres (route, rail…), l'essentiel des échanges à l'intérieur de la RDC se fait par avions. Pour un pays très pauvres, le trafic aérien est très intense. Il y a des dizaines de petites compagnies privées et donc des centaines de tombeaux dans les airs. Chaque jour, nous voyons des ancêtres surchargés décoller à l'horizontale au dessus des habitations. Ce crash n'est pas le premier… il ne sera pas le dernier

This accident could be seen coming from a mile away. Given the almost total absence of infrastructure on the ground (roads, rail…), most of the movement through the interior of the DRC is by airplane. For a very poor country, air traffic is intensely busy. There are dozens of small, private companies, and thus hundreds of flying coffins. Everyday, we see overloaded relics taking off just above people's houses. This crash was not the first…it will not be the last.

Congolese blogger Alex Engwete observes it can take a disaster to turn the world's attention to the DRC:

CNN montre des images de l'avion carbonisé à Kinshasa. Des images sensationnelles catastrophiques dont raffolent les géants médiatiques… et qui les tirent de leur indifférence systématique de la RDC.

CNN shows images of a burnt airplane in Kinshasa. Sensational, catastrophic images the media giants go crazy for…and that pulls them out of their systematic indifference toward the DRC.


  • […] DRC: Kinshasa Plane Crash “Will Not Be the Last” The world is talking. Are you listening? Du Cabiau A Kinshasa , a Belgian living in Congo, writes about last week’s plane crash in Kimbanseke, a poor and densely-populated neighborhood in Kinshasa. […]

  • The daring pilots of the Congo were profiled in Bono’s Vanity Fair Africa issue (probably the longest story there).

    The aircraft are old (and repaired ad hoc) and with the poor state of runways in the huge country, I have to agree with Du Cabiau

  • Jackycongo

    Contrary to media and popular belief, the plane was not “old” and was properly maintained.
    AN-26GR registered 9Q-COS, serial 88-07, was actually completely overhauled by the manufacturer one year ago.
    Proper maintenance was performed during the lapse of one year (almost to the day) spent in the DRC.

  • I thought that crash just like almost every other crash in Africa was caused by overload ?

  • […] October, Du Cabiau à Kinshasa, responding to a plane crash in a poor district of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, wrote, ominously: “This crash was not the […]



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