Captain of Plane Crashed in DR Congo Was Russian - Consulate© REUTERS/ Sylvain Liechti/MONUSCO/Handout
MOSCOW, March 5 (RIA Novosti) - The captain of a plane that crashed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on March 4 was Russian, the Russian consul in the country said on Tuesday.
“The Transportation Ministry of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has confirmed the death of Congolese airline CAA aircraft captain, Russian national Alexander Bazhenov, born in 1966,” Alexander Tkachyov told RIA Novosti.
“The embassy is now rendering all required legal and consular assistance to Bazhenov's widow,” Tkachyov said, adding that six people died in the plane crash that occurred in the eastern city of Goma.
Earlier reports suggested some 30 people were killed in the accident. The aircraft, a Fokker 50 plane belonging to the local CAA company, took off from the central mining town of Lodja and crashed in the center of Goma in heavy rainfall. No one on the ground was hurt.
“Overall, there were nine people on board the aircraft. Five crew members and one security guard died, while three passengers are now in a Goma hospital,” the diplomat said.
“According to the Transportation Ministry, except for one Russian, all other crewmembers and passengers were Congolese,” he said.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has a poor air safety record, and all of its roughly 50 airlines are blacklisted by the European Union, which banned them from EU airspace.
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The clash of Russian and Western interests has given rise to a geopolitical battle. German politicians are trying to leave all doors and windows open for dialogue with Russia. Moscow does acknowledge this, and Germany is probably the only country with which it is ready to discuss European security.