Congo: Cargo plane crashes in Pointe-Noire, killing 16

The Antonov plane crashed as it was trying to land, causing extensive fires on the ground

A cargo plane has crashed in a residential area of Congo-Brazzaville's economic capital, Pointe-Noire, killing at least 16 people.

The Antonov plane, operated by Trans Air Congo, crashed as it was trying to land, according to civil aviation agency head Michel Ambende.

He told AFP news agency that as many as 19 people had died in the crash and 14 were injured.

"We don't know yet if the toll will grow," he said.

Several houses in Pointe-Noire's Mvou Mvou district were reported to have been buried by debris.

One witness told AFP that the city was "in shock. It's apocalyptic."

A TV cameraman who saw the crash was quoted as saying that the pilot had been able to get out of the cockpit before the plane came to a rest.

He told the Associated Press that he had seen at least 16 bodies being pulled from the wreckage.

Another witness said the plane had begun preparing to land at the airport before veering out to sea and then crashing.

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