13 February 2019

Kenya: Plane Crashes in Londiani, Kericho

Photo: John Njorge/Daily Nation
The wreckage of the aircraft following the crashed in Londiani, Kericho County on February 13,2019. Five people were killed.

A light aircraft has crashed near Makutano Forest in Londiani, Kericho County, killing all the five passengers on board.

National Police Airwing Commander Rodgers Mbithi on Wednesday confirmed to the Nation that all the five occupants of the Cesna 206-5-Y BSE had perished.

They include three men and two women, four of whom are whites.

Their nationalities are yet to be established.

The plane was ferrying the passengers from Ol Kiombo in the Mara to Lodwar in Turkana County.

The craft crashed in Masaita Forest View Village and landed on a farm a few minutes after 11am.

Rift Valley Police Commander Edward Mwamburi said police and rescue teams were headed to the scene.

The cause of the crash was not immediately established and investigators have started investigations.

In June last year, a plane belonging to the FlySAX airline crashed on the edge of the Aberdares mountain range, leaving 10 people dead.

Kenya has a vibrant airline industry, with national airline Kenya Airways operating internationally and locally alongside successful low-cost airlines and charter companies.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in 2014, some 130,000 planes land and take off from Kenya each year, and the country has 35 operating airlines.

WORST DISASTER

The IATA said Kenya's air transport infrastructure quality ranks 6th out of 37 countries surveyed in Africa.

In October 2017 five passengers were killed when a helicopter crashed into Lake Nakuru, while in 2012 a helicopter carrying internal security minister George Saitoti crashed, killing all six passengers on board.

Kenya's worst crash in recent years took place in 2007, when a Kenya Airways flight from Abidjan to Nairobi via Douala crashed into a swamp after take-off, killing all 114 passengers.

In 2000 another Kenya Airways flight from Abidjan to Nairobi crashed into the Atlantic Ocean minutes after take-off, killing 169 people while 10 survived.

Additional report by AFP.

Editor's Note: In an earlier version of this story, we had quoted Londiani Deputy County Commissioner Justus Munyao as saying that the ill-fated plane was operated by Safari Link. This is not the case and the error has since been corrected.

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