Bodies yet to be identified after chopper crash in Turkana

The family of a Kenyan pilot killed in a chopper crash in Turkana says they are yet to identify his body.

A member of the family said they have not received any report from the Government regarding the death of Captain Mario Magonga alongside Americans Kyle John Forte, Stapper Brandon Howe, Burke Anders Asher and Baker David Mark.

“There is no communication so far on the progress of identifying the body. We are still waiting,” said a member of the family who asked not to be named.

The plane crashed in Turkana on the night of March 3.

The remains of the four Americans and their pilot were taken to the Lee Funeral Home where DNA analysis is expected to be conducted to identify them.

This is because the victims were burnt beyond recognition after the Bell 505, registration number 5Y-KDL, burst into flames on crashing.

The cause of the accident remains unknown, but authorities promised to investigate it.

Also, tough questions have been raised on why the chopper was flying past 6pm, against the strict guidelines of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority regulations.

It crashed at about 8.35pm.

The ill-fated Bell 505 chopper with tail number 5Y-KDL was among five helicopters operating under KIDL Helicopters and based at Wilson Airport.

The affected chopper was shipped from Bell’s facility in Mirabel, Canada to Africair Helicopter Support Limited (AHSL), a newly-established KCAA authorised maintenance organisation where the aircraft was reassembled.

 Captain Magonga, a former military officer, was cleared to fly a number of VIPs, including former United States President Barack Obama and Deputy President Dr William Ruto among others.

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