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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Plane Crash In Congo Kills 23

KINSHASA, Congo -- At least 23 people died when a Russian-made cargo plane crashed and exploded Thursday in a busy neighborhood of Kinshasa, the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo, officials said.

The aging An-26 twin-propeller aircraft belonging to Congolese airline Africa One plunged onto houses in the Kingasani district shortly after taking off from nearby Ndjili international airport on an internal flight.

"There were five crew and 13 passengers on the plane. Nobody escaped alive. They were all incinerated," Transport Minister Remy Henri Kuseyo said. At least three of the crew were Ukrainian, according to the plane's manifest.

The minister said at least two women and a man were killed on the ground when the plane plowed into the crowded area and burst into flames.

A witness also saw one man discover the bodies of two of his children, a boy and girl, crushed under a wall, as relatives poured over the blackened rubble.

With bodies still being recovered and the seriously injured being taken to hospitals across the sprawling riverside capital, the death toll appeared likely to rise.

Rescue workers pulled at least six charred corpses from the wreckage of the plane as they joined family members picking through the devastation.

Air travel is notoriously dangerous in Congo. In 1996, at least 350 people died when a Russian-built An-32 cargo plane plowed through a crowded market in central Kinshasa.