A South African Air Force (SAAF) C-130BZ has crash-landed at Goma airport, in the eastern part of the Democratic of Congo, on 9 January 2020.
The aircraft was transporting 59 passengers and eight crew members from the UN mission when its left engine caught fire upon landing, said Mathias Gillman, acting spokesperson for the UN MONUSCO mission.
So far, there’s no information about casualties or damages done. At the same time, Internet users have started sharing photos and videos from the scene of the incident.
#RDC/#Goma: Des images montrent un avion avec immatriculation Sud Africaine en feu (crash) à l'aéroport de #Goma et les sources parleraient d'un avion de la brigade d'intervention de la @MONUSCO pic.twitter.com/xY1dl2DoIM
— F I S T O N M A H A M B A (@FMLarousse) January 9, 2020
Videos and photos on social media show smoke rising from the aircraft that appears to be on an angle in a ditch next to the runway. There are no reports of the extent of injuries of the 59 passengers and eight crew members on board.
#AHORA ? Un avión militar sudafricano sufre un accidente en el aeropuerto de #Goma, República Democrática del Congo.
— eSPAINews (@eSPAINews) January 9, 2020
“MONUSCO sent a rescue team that brought the fire under control and everyone was safely evacuated,” Gillman told The Associated Press.
According to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), the aircraft was traveling from the city of Beni and was carrying soldiers from the South African contingent.
28 squadron at Waterkloof, South Africa, operates the Lockheed C-130BZ. We assess some five examples are operational.
African Defence Review Director Darren Olivier said the incident is a “big blow” for the SAAF. “Even if this C-130BZ is repairable, I doubt they will be able to afford to repair it on their meagre budget, especially with the difficulty of replacing an outer wing section in an austere location like Goma.”
“The C-130BZ that crashed at Goma is confirmed as serial 403. The left-wing is extensively damaged, and there was a fire on engine 1.”