Air Africa Plane Crashes into Street Market

On 6 January 1996 an overloaded Air Africa or African Air Antonov An-32B jet leased from Moscow Airways destined for Kahemba Airport failed to takeoff from N'Dolo Airport and overshot the runway into the crowded Simbazikita street market, killing an estimated 297.

The aircraft was operating out of license, according to the Russian Air Transport Department.

In the early afternoon of Monday January 8, an Air Africa Antonov-32 was preparing for a flight from Ndolo airport in Kinshasa to Kahemba, Zaire. The cargo plane, owned by Moscow Airways and operated by a Russian crew, was packed with supplies and a full tank of fuel. During the takeoff roll, the aircraft only reached roughly half the ideal takeoff speed, yet began to lift as it reached the end of the runway. A Ndolo airport employee who witnessed the takeoff said, “[The plane] did not even get its nose up. It was going as fast it could but didn't even manage to take off. When it put on its reverse engines it was too late.