Safarilink plane forced to turn back to Nairobi after mid-air incident

Safarilink Aviation aircraft.

A Diani-bound aircraft operated by Safarilink Aviation was forced to turn back to Wilson Airport, Nairobi on Tuesday morning. 

This is after the aircraft experienced "a loud bang" shortly after take-off, the airline said. 

The Standard has learnt that the incident occurred some minutes to 10.00 am. 

All 39 passengers and five crew members on board are accounted for, Safarilink said in a statement on Tuesday, March 5.

"The crew decided to immediately turn back to Nairobi-Wilson Airport for further inspection and assessment and landed safely," the airline’s management said. 

Further, the aviation company said relevant authorities have been notified and investigations into the incident have begun. 

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) said the incident involved a Cessna aircraft belonging to Ninety-Nines Flying School and a Safarilink Aviation Limited Dash 8.

Investigations into the collision were underway at the time of publishing.

“Safety of the public, property and operations remains paramount,” said KCAA.

This is a developing story and is being updated.