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Plane carrying journalists crashes in Kibera after take-off from Wilson Airport

By Akello Odenyo and Cyrus Ombati | Published Wed, July 12th 2017 at 15:05, Updated July 12th 2017 at 18:49 GMT +3
Wreckage of the plane that crashed shortly after departing Wilson Airport in Nairobi.

A pilot and three journalists were injured on Wednesday when a light aircraft crashed shortly after take-off from Wilson Airport, Nairobi.

The Cesna plane was ferrying three Citizen journalists- two reporters and a cameraman- to a rally by the National Super Alliance (NASA) in Baringo County, when it crashed at Lifespring Christian Centre Academy near the National Housing Corporation Houses along the Southern Bypass in Lang'ata.

Nickson Wanyonyi, a security guard who witnessed the crash, said he thought the plane was looking for a landing zone when he saw it move in circles before it crashed inside the school compound, about two kilometers from the airport.

"I realised there was a problem when the plane hit an electric wire and immediately the engine went off. The plane landed on its back," he said.

"They were very lucky. The crash could have been worse if the plane landed on the Southern Bypass or the school building. But they hit a tree and fell on an empty field," he added.

Lang'ata Deputy County Commissioner Philip Lemalasia said the pilot and co -pilot sustained severe injuries and were rushed to Nairobi hospital.

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The three journalists from Royal media services, identified as Sam Ogina, Joseph Njane and Mauritius Oduor, helped themselves out of the aircraft with minor injuries.

Residents mill around the damaged aircraft in Kibera, Nairobi. 

They were taken to Kibera South Dispensary with the help of residents who had arrived at the scene before they were referred to Nairobi hospital. The plane was however badly damaged.

Pro-Aviation- Company in charge of maintaining the plane- manager Peter Kamau, said the Control Centre had called the pilot a few minutes before the crash, asking why they were flying so low but the pilot assured them that all was well.

"They are in stable condition and we have talked to them in hospital," said one of their colleagues who saw them.

National police Air wing commandant Rodgers Mbithi confirmed the crash and added the victims had been rescued.

"Experts including Kenya Airforce Authority, Advantage Air who were the operators of the plane and the Kenya Red Cross are on the ground to investigate possible causes of the crash. The victims are recuperating at the Nairobi hospital," said Mbithi.

NASA leader Raila Odinga has wished victims the crash quick recovery.

NASA was scheduled to hold a series of rallies in Kabarnet, Tiaty and Eldama Ravine in Baringo County. The alliance leaders were already on the ground with the rallies when the accident happened at about 1.30pm.

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