10 June 2018

Kenya: FlySax Plane Wreckage Recovery Team Betting On Friendly Weather

An operation to retrieve the wreckage of FlySax plane that killed eight passengers and two pilots at the Elephant Peak in the Aberdare Forest will resume on Monday.

Njabini deputy county commissioner, Daniel Nyameti, on Sunday revealed that a team of investigators led by Kenya Civil Aviation Authority will assemble at his office before heading to the crash site, more than 13 kilometers away, where the aircraft wreckage was located last Thursday.

"The weather is friendly and the team leaves for the scene of accident at around 6am. More details will be availed when the mission commences. We trust the weather will remain conducive for the wreckage recovery mission," said the deputy county commissioner.

Mr Nyameti said the area and routes leading to the wreckage are still treated as a scene of accident and out of bounds for the public until the wreckage is collected and investigations concluded.

He said the scene has been secured by Kenya Wildlife Service rangers until investigations are done.


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The bodies of the ten victims were recovered and transported to Nairobi on Thursday evening, two days after the Cessna C208 aircraft, registration number 5Y-CAC, operated by Fly Sax, left a Kitale airstrip in Trans-Nzoia County at 4.05pm for Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport but was reported missing.

The search and recovery exercise was hampered by harsh cold weather, steep terrain and bushes characteristic of the hill, forcing the rescue team to embark on a manual rescue mission.

The aircrafts command post was temporarily closed down on Thursday evening after the recovery of the bodies by a multiagency team and volunteers under KWS Inspector Bajila Kofa who was commander in charge of the rescue team.

The aircraft lost contact with the control tower at 5.20pm, on Tuesday, before it went missing.


On board were the pilot, Captain Barbra Wangeci Kamau, First Officer Jean Mureithi and eight passengers -- Ahmed Ali Abdi, Karaba Sailah Waweru Muiga, Khetia Kishani, Matakasakaraia Thamani, Matakatekei Paula, Ngugi George Kinyua, Pinuertorn Ronald and Wafula Robinson.

All occupants of the plane died.

The plane went missing for over 36 hours and efforts to locate it were heavily hampered by bad weather.

The plane's black box was also recovered.

Meanwhile, Nyandarua county government promised to compensate local youth who helped in the search and rescue mission for the ten victims of FlySax aircraft.

On Friday, Governor Kimemia directed the county disaster, management team to ensure the young volunteers are compensated for the 'good job.'

"We are not paying them, they were not interested in money but in saving lives. What we are giving them is a token from the County Disaster Management kitty. We appreciate their action. The rescue was dangerous, risky and a torturous journey," said Mr Kimemia.

He said the volunteers together with 40 youth from each of the 25 wards in the county will undergo a safety, disaster management and rescue training to be done by the county and national governments.

On Friday evening, Kinangop deputy county commissioner, Daniel Nyameti, confirmed that the volunteers received some money from the county government.

"The appreciation came from the county government's disaster kitty. They were the once coordinating and financing the welfare part of the rescue mission, including all meals and refreshments in entire rescue period," said Mr Nyameti.

On Thursday evening, a group of the youth attempted to block transportation of the bodies to Lee funeral home claiming they were part of the rescue team that went into the forest to recover the bodies.


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