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Kenya Air Force holds requiem mass for 11 officers who died in chopper crash

NATIONAL
By Betty Njeru | July 1st 2021

Kenya Air Force holds memorial service for 11 officers (inset) who died in a helicopter crash at Oltepesi, Kajiado County. [Courtesy, KAF]

The Kenya Air Force (KAF) is today (Thursday, July 1) holding a requiem mass for 11 officers who died in a chopper crash at Oltepesi, Kajiado County last Thursday.

The programme seen by The Standard says the memorial service will take place at the Moi Air Base Gymnasium, and will run until noon.

KAF Commander Maj Gen Francis Ogolla wrote a glowing tribute to the fallen officers, remembering them as hard working and dedicated service members.

“They were devoted, obedient and promising, cheerful and pleasant to work with. The cruel hand of death has robbed us dedicated, loyal, and hardworking Service Members who had a bright future in the Kenya Air Force,” he said.

11 soldiers mourned 

KAF identified the 11 soldiers as Warrant officers (WO2) Joshua Obare Odera and Tarcisio Wandera Namboka, Staff sergeant (SSgt) Noah Wanyonyi Munialo, Bob Kipkemoi Aruasa, Anthony Simon Kamuti, Irene Wanjiku Githinji, Sergeant (Sgt) Josphat Muriuki Maingi, Steve Ombuka Angwenyi, Stephen Omarian Omale, Corporal (Cpl) Bonface Ogati Mocheche and Spte Thomas Shekeine. 

Kenya Air Force holds memorial service for 11 officers (inset) who died in a helicopter crash at Oltepesi, Kajiado County. [Courtesy, KAF]

The military aircraft that had 23 occupants crashed on June 24 at Eremet area in Oltinga, Kajiado West.

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesperson Zipporah Kioko in a statement said the helicopter was on a training mission when it went down and burst into flames.

President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the recuperating soldiers a day after the crash at the KDF Memorial Hospital in Mbagathi, Nairobi.

KDF, however, continues to remain tight-lipped about the crash, with only two statements sufficing as official communication issued publicly.

The cause of the helicopter accident remains unknown so far.

 

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