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Plane with three on board goes missing in Aberdare Forest

By Job Weru and Boniface Gikandi

Police and volunteers are looking for an aircraft, which disappeared from the radar on Thursday night with three passengers on board at Kahuro in Murang’a.

The Cessna 206 registration number 5y BUG was headed to Wilson Airport from Nanyuki.

A combined rescue efforts was mounted in expansive Aberdare Forest where its last signal was traced.

According to Jammie Roberts, a director of Tropic Air, which donated a helicopter to carry out the rescue mission, said the plane was flying from Lentille Airstrip in Laikipia to Wilson Airport.

 Roberts said early indications showed the weather was good at the time the plane was reported to have disappeared from the radar.

“We fear that maybe the plane developed mechanical problems but let us not speculate,” he said.

 By Friday afternoon, the aircraft had not been traced.

Tropic Air Operations Manager Joseph Ngunza said a chopper from the company had been released to overfly the forest trying to locate it.

A ground search for the missing plane was amounted within Aberdare Ranges with armed police officers penetrating the thickets in Kiambu, Murang’a, and Nyeri and Nyandarua counties.

Murang’a County Police Commander Ms Naomi Ichama said they received communications of a missing light aircraft while flying in Murang’a County.

“All the police officers in the upper areas are on ground searching for the missing aircraft,” said Ichami.

The county Commissioner Ms Kula Hache said the search team has been extended in Kigumo, Kangema and Mathioya.

“We have combed the entire Kahuro area and nothing was spotted. Search teams have been dispatched to other areas,” said the county commissioner.

On Thursday night, Kahuro district, local Deputy County Commissioner Mr Patrick Muli led search teams to Gitiri area which had been indicated as the site of the last communication between the plane and the radar.

Muli called on the public to help in the search of the plane and the passengers.

“We visited Gitiri area and found there was no plane found. Search has been extended to Aberdare Ranges.

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