Nov. 24 (UPI) -- A small aircraft crashed into houses in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, killing 19 aboard and several people on the ground Sunday morning, officials said.
The Dornier-228 twin-turboprop aircraft, operated by private airline Busy Bee, crashed into houses in the Mapendo district in Goma shortly after takeoff from the airport, provincial governor Nzanzu Kasivita Carly said in a statement obtained by CNN.
Kasivita said the crash had "cost the lives of our fellow countrymen."
Aboard the plane were 17 passengers and two crew members. An unknown number of residents were in the homes. The BBC reported the dead included nine from the same family who were in one of the houses struck.
The plane, which was scheduled to fly to Beni, about 220 miles north of Goma, experienced engine failure right after take-off.
According to witnesses, the pilot was attempting to return the plane to the airport after hearing a loud sound that seemed to come from the engine, Al Jazeera reported.
No commercial carriers in the African nation are allowed to fly into European Union airspace because of lax safety standards and poor maintenance.
The Dornier Do 228 was manufactured from 1981 until 1998.