UN chief saddened by death of Russian air crew members in DR Congo

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Martin Nesirky

The United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) is investigating the cause of the crash of a helicopter in which four Russian crew members have died.

The United Nations-contracted cargo helicopter went down on Saturday about 20 kilometres west of the city of Bukavu in South Kivu Province in the eastern part of the country.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he has learnt with deep sorrow of the death of the four Russian air crew members.

Martin Nesirky is UN spokesperson.

"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. The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) immediately launched a search and rescue operation. Due to severe weather conditions, the Mission could not access the crash site until 12 March. MONUSCO has launched an immediate investigation into the cause of the crash."  (30″)

The eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is plagued by the conflict between government forces and armed rebels operating there.

Gerry Adams, United Nations.

Duration: 1'12"

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