Final toll in DR Congo plane crash is six: minister

Six people died when a plane crashed into a residential area of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Transport Minister Justin Kalumba said on Tuesday.

"The toll is six dead," Kalumba said, adding that three passengers had survived.

"This morning, a team has been dispatched to Goma to determine the cause of the accident," he added.

Toll estimates from the crash have ranged wildly, with initial reports saying that dozens of people could have died before police drastically revised down the estimate.

Earlier on Tuesday, the regional governor of the North Kivu region of which Goma is the capital, Julien Paluku, had put the toll at seven dead.

The Fokker 50 belonging to the local CAA company was flying from the central mining town of Lodja and went down in heavy rain just before it was due to land at Goma airport, police said.

The plane ended up some seven kilometres (four miles) from the runway.

Aircraft accidents are frequent in the vast DR Congo, where many planes are old and airports lack modern equipment. All of the country's roughly 50 airlines are on the blacklist of the European Union, which has banned them from its airspace.