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DRC plane crash: Kabila aide killed, finance minister injured (UPDATES)

Augustin Katumba Mwanke, chief advisor to President Joseph Kabila, died in the eastern Congo plane crash, while finance minister Matata Ponyo Mapon was seriously injured.

Drc crash katumba mwanke 20120213Enlarge
The Democratic Republic of Congo has one of the world's worst air safety records. Soldiers inspect the wreckage of a UN plane after it crashed while trying to land in a storm in Kinshasa, DRC, on April 4, 2011. One person on the plane survived one of the worst disasters ever involving UN transport. (JUNIOR DIDI KANNAH/AFP/Getty Images)

A plane crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed a senior aide to President Joseph Kabila and seriously injured the country's finance minister.

The crash on Sunday near Bukavu, in the eastern Congo, is the latest in a country with one of the world's worst air safety records. 

Augustin Katumba Mwanke, a chief advisor to President Kabila and former governor of mineral-rich Katanga province, died when his private jet crashed after it overshot the runway upon landing, Radio Okapi in Kinshasa reported, according to UPI.

The American pilot and co-pilot were also killed, Agence France-Presse reported. Two people on the ground, said to be local farmers, died in the crash.

There were nine people on board the twin-engine Gulfstream 200, including crew members, a Bukavu airport official told AFP. The weather was reported to have been good at the time of the crash, which happened at around 2 p.m. local time.

The plane was said to have been traveling from Kinshasa, the capital, via the eastern city of Goma.

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Finance Minister Matata Ponyo Mapon and roving ambassador Antoine Ngonda were seriously injured in the crash, Reuters reported. The governor of South Kivu province, Marcellin Cishambo Rohuya, suffered fractures in both legs.

Kabila is currently working to form a new government coalition after his disputed victory in November's election, Reuters said.

The accident comes less than two weeks after another small plane crashed near Bukavu airport.

In that incident, an Antonov plane took off from Bukavu and was due to land an airport in the town of Namoya, but when it failed to arrive, a second plane was sent to survey the route and saw crash debris, the Associated Press reported. It was thought that there were at least five people on board.

Last July, a passenger plane with 112 people on board went down while attempting to land in stormy weather at Kisangani airport, in the northeast, killing more than 50 people.

In April, a UN plane crashed as it attempted to land in torrential rain in Kinshasa, killing 32 of 33 people on board, most of them UN officials and peacekeepers. 

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/120212/drc-plane-crash-katumba-mwanke-killed-matato-ponyo-mapo-injured