Bad weather has been blamed for the crash landing of the Defence Force C 130 transport aircraft in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The plane was carrying 58 SANDF peacekeepers and 8 air crew. It crash-landed at Goma in the eastern DRC.

However, it’s emerged that one soldier suffered a heart attack during the landing. The soldier is being treated in a local hospital and is recovering well.

The National Defence Force has opened an urgent inquiry into the crash landing.

SANDF Spokesperson, Siphiwe Dlamini says, ” We are relieved that there have been no casualties and no injuries. And a quick urgent board of inquiry to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident is presently being constituted by the Air Force. There are strict regulations as to when, who speaks on what and until the investigation is completed. We will only know then what actually happened.”

 

Videos on social media show smoke rising from the four-engined aircraft. The left wing appeared to have caught fire. Other reports suggest that one of the engines was on fire before the crash landing.

However, two sources at the airport say there did not appear to be major damage to the plane.

The plane was returning from the city of Beni.

‘Aging C-130’

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says the Air Force’s C-130 transport aircraft that crash-landed in the DRC was the last remaining serviceable C-130.

The DA says the aging C-130s in the Air Force inventory require substantial maintenance.

DA Shadow Defence Minister Kobus Marais says more money needs to be spent on maintaining the C-130s.