Officials from the Congolese Airways Authority and the aviation authority of the Democratic Republic of Congo work on the scene where a small plane belonging to the Congolese company Kin Avia crashed Wednesday.
The plane descended a few minutes after taking off from Kavumu airport near Bukavu, capital of South Kivu province, in the east of the country about 1,500 km east of Kinshasa.
The small turboprop Let L-410 aircraft crashed at about noon (10:00 GMT).
Mugoli Bujiriri, a Bukavu Red Cross volunteer, described the horrific scene.
"When we arrived we removed the bodies that were in the rubble. One had lost his head, one had been cut in two. It was horrible. All of them were dead, unfortunately.
"We took the bodies to the Pakistani UN camp close to the scene. And now, a MUNUSCO (UN mission) ambulance has just taken all the bodies to the town of Bukavu."
This type of small aircraft is the main means of transporting basic necessities and minerals in the landlocked east of the democratic republic of congo.
The L-410 is a twin-engine turboprop built by the Czech firm Let and put into service in the early 1970s. It can carry 15 to 19 passengers or cargo.
"It was a cargo flight," Erik Jacobs, general manager of Kin Avia, told AFP, who was contacted by AFP shortly afterwards by phone in Kinshasa.
Investigators seek to ascertain the root cause of the cargo flight's crash in which All three people aboard, "The Russian pilot, the Congolese co-pilot and a passenger lost their lives.
South Kivu provincial authorities and state television RTNC cited the same toll.