The Star (Nairobi)

12 September 2012

Kenya: KDF Soldiers, Pilot Killed in Lamu Crash

TWO Kenya Defence Force soldiers and a pilot died when a plane crashed at Manda Island in Lamu on Monday night.

Four people were on board, the two soldiers and two pilots. One of the pilots, who survived the crash, was treated at the Manda military barracks and air lifted to Nairobi for more medical attention.

Military spokesman Col Cyrus Oguna said the plane developed mechanical problems minutes after take off at about 11pm on Monday."We usually outsource transport services from time to time whenever need be. This was one of the times when we had outsourced transport service," said Oguna."Unfortunately this accident happened and the plane burst into flames after it crashed."

Oguna said the two are mid-level officers and their bodies were easily identified."The soldiers were coming to Nairobi to be given some tasks. That's why we had to get them here urgently and that is why we hired the plane," said Oguna. The light aircraft, a Cessna 310 twin engine piston, is owned by Sandpiper Aviation.

The company got a license to operate in the county on April 5, 2011. The names of the soldiers could not be revealed as their next of kin had not been informed by the time of going to press. The crash comes weeks after four people, two pilots and two German tourists, perished in another plane crash at the Maasai Mara National Park.

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