13 June 2012

Kenya: Victims of Chopper Crash Positively Identified

Nairobi — The victims of Sunday's helicopter crash have all been positively identified and post-mortems done.

Police sources told Capital FM News that the families of the late Internal Security Minister George Saitoti, his assistant Orwa Ojode, pilots Nancy Gituanja and Luke Oyugi as well as bodyguards Thomas Murimi and Inspector Joshua Tonkei were satisfied with the identification process.

"The process of identifying the charred bodies has been going on since Monday and it is now complete. There is no problem at all... the families are satisfied," he said.

A police officer privy to the exercise told Capital FM News that the identification process was not complicated "because there were identifiable features on each of the bodies, which family members could easily recognise, including pieces of clothing they were wearing."

The late Ojode's requiem mass will be held at the Seventh Day Adventist Central Church in Nairobi on Thursday while that of the late Saitoti was scheduled to be held at the Holy Family Basilica on Friday.

Saitoti is due to be buried on Saturday in Kitengela while Ojode will be buried on Sunday in Ndiwa. The four police officers who perished in the crash will be buried next week

The late minister and his assistant perished when a helicopter they were travelling in crashed in Ngong hills, on the outskirts of Nairobi on Sunday morning, as they were heading to Ojode's Ndhiwa constituency for a church service and fund-raiser.

On Wednesday, officials from Eurocopter, the company that manufactured the ill fated helicopter, visited the scene as part the ongoing investigation.

The officials from France and South Africa did not make any public statement but were seen collecting samples of evidence and taking notes.

A public inquiry announced by Transport Minister Amos Kimunya is yet to formally commence its investigation.

The team is headed by Court of Appeal judge Kalpana Rawal.

The exact cause of the fatal crash remains unclear but investigators from the Kenya Police Air wing are pursuing a likelihood that the plane may have crashed due to engine failure.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka on Wednesday asked Kenyans to avoid speculation as the government tries to unearth the cause of the helicopter crash.

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