Survivor Recounts Horrors Of Recent Congo Accident

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On Monday, AVweb reported on an incident in which a Russian-made airliner's cargo door opened in flight. We still don't know how many people were sucked from the aircraft to their deaths but the Associated Press found some passengers who managed to hang on through the decompression. The AP said Congo police Lt. Ilunga Mambaza described a scene of panic in the hold of the plane, crammed with people and cargo, when the bay door in the rear suddenly opened for no reason. Mambaza latched onto a truck in the jet's cargo hold as the door blew open. "When the back door opened, I fell down and lots of boxes covered me," Mambaza said. "Lots of my colleagues were sucked out by the wind. I don't know how many because I fainted." His wife, Bebe Kahoma, said the women on the plane were more fortunate: "Us women, we had a little bit of luck because we had been placed close to the cabin, therefore far from the door, but we sustained some damages." The flight crew returned the IL-76 to Kinshasa. About 100 people aboard returned safely. We should note Ukraine's defense ministry, which owns the plane and leases it for use in Congo, denied that anyone died and disputed significant details of the survivors' accounts.