Congolese Antonov freighter reportedly crashes

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An aircraft belonging to Republic of Congo carrier Trans Air Congo has crashed in the suburbs of Pointe-Noire, the central African country's second city, according to news agency reports.

The aircraft was identified in some reports as being an Antonov An-32, although Flight's ACAS database identifies the carrier as having single examples of only the An-12 and An-24RV.

Information on today's crash is sketchy, but the casualty toll has risen steadily in recent hours, with 19 now reported dead. The aircraft came down on the Mvou-Mvou suburb of the Atlantic coast city, which is Congo's main economic hub and Trans Air Congo's home base. It is unknown if all the dead were on board the aircraft or if the figure includes casualties on the ground.

The Associated Press news agency quotes the country's director of civil aviation Michel Ambende as saying that many people were also injured when the freighter came down in a densely-populated district.

Listed telephone numbers for Trans Air Congo were not operational.

All airlines from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo are blacklisted by the European Union.