Sabahi (Washington, DC)

2 July 2014

Kenya Cargo Plane Crashes, Killing 4 On Board

Four people died Wednesday (July 2nd) when a cargo plane crashed into a building in Nairobi's Embakasi estate shortly after takeoff from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), the Kenya National Disaster Operation Centre said.

The centre said the flight engineer, pilot and two crew members had died in the crash, and that two bodies had so far been recovered from the wreckage.

The plane, bound for Mogadishu with a cargo of qat, also known as miraa, crashed before dawn, a time when the building was mostly empty and no other casualties have been reported, AFP reported.

A photographer at the scene said the plane had smashed into a low-rise building containing small stores and shops three kilometres from the airport.

"All four on board perished... it hit an electric post before crashing on a building and bursting into flames," a senior police officer said.

Smoke rose from the smashed front wall of the one-storey concrete building, some of which appeared to be still under construction.

The area around the airport includes a mix of both industrial zones with factories, as well as housing and shops.

Head of Security at Kenya Airports Authority Eric Kiraithe said the airport was closed for "a few minutes as a matter of procedure", but is now operating normally.

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