Aid plane crashes in Congo with 17 on board

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) -- There are apparently no survivors after a humanitarian aid flight carrying 17 people crashed on a ridge in eastern Congo.

A U.N. spokesman says the 21-seat Beechcraft 1900 aircraft disappeared in bad weather late yesterday with two crew members and 15 passengers on board.

The plane was located this morning, about 9 miles northwest of the airstrip at Bukavu (boo-KAH'-voo) in eastern Congo, its intended destination.

Air Serv International runs the twice-weekly aid delivery system. It says the plane is located on a steep ridge and that helicopter surveys suggested all 17 aboard had died.

U.N. teams are said to be "securing the site and searching for and recovering victims' bodies."

Air Serv International, based in Virginia, describes itself as a not-for-profit aviation organization that supports humanitarian programs worldwide.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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