New York, US - The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), MONUSCO, has confirmed the death of four crew members aboard one of its helicopters that crashed on Saturday in the eastern province of South Kivu.
MONUSCO said in a statement made available to PANA in New York Wednesday that the helicopter’s wreckage was located on Sunday, some 20 kilometres west of the city of Bukavu, but that severe weather conditions and the difficult terrain hampered the rescue operation.
It said the helicopter went missing on Saturday when it was returning to Bukavu after a mission in Shabunda and the death of the crew members, all Russian nationals, was confirmed earlier
on Tuesday when a team from MONUSCO reached the crash site.
It disclosed that an investigation was under way into the cause of the accident.
The statement also said UN Special Representative and head of MONUSCO Roger Meece expressed his condolences over the death of the four crew members to the Russian
Ambassador in DRC.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his deep sorrow at the death of the crew members.
“The Secretary-General offers his sincerest condolences and sympathy to the families and friends of the victims, and to the Government of the Russian Federation,” a UN statement said.