Plane Crash Kills Seven in Eastern Congo

A Russian-made airplane crashed Monday in the forest in eastern Congo, killing seven, including three Russian crew members, a U.N. official said.

The Antonov-26 aircraft crashed near the town of Isiro, a few hundred miles northeast of Kisangani shortly before landing.

U.N. spokesman Kemal Saiki told The Associated Press that four crew members, including three Russians and one Congolese, as well as three Congolese civilians died in the crash, Saiki said.

Local Red Cross teams were on the scene, Saiki said.

Congo has few passable roads after decades of war and corrupt rule, forcing its deeply impoverished people to rely on often unsafe boats and planes to move around their country.

In May, another An-26 clipped a treetop during its landing approach near Isiro, killing 10 of the 11 passengers aboard. In December 2003, an An-26 plowed into a crowded market at the end of a runway in a northeastern town, killing 33 people in the plane and on the ground.