Team formed to probe Kones crash

June 15, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, June 13 – A team of aviation experts was on Friday constituted to probe the cause of a plane crash that claimed the lives of two ministers, a bodyguard and a pilot on Tuesday.

The team, led by the Transport Ministry’s Chief Inspector of Accidents Engineer Peter Wakahia, is to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident and make recommendations on measures that can be taken to avert similar accidents in future.

Other members in the team include Retired Colonel Enos Ndoli – a consultant Air Accident Investigator, Captain Anthony Keroken – a professional pilot with the Kenya Wildlife Services and Captain Peter Munyao – an Air Accident Investigator with the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).

The four-man team has already been gazetted and has 90 days to submit its findings to the Transport Ministry.

Beginning work immediately, Wakahia appealed on Friday to any person with information relevant to the plane crash to submit it to authorities.

“Verbal or written submissions should be presented to the ministry for investigation,” he said.

A Cessna aircraft crashed at the Kojong’a area in Narok District on Tuesday afternoon, barely 45 minutes after take off from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport.

Roads Minister Kipkalya Kones and Assistant Minister Lorna Laboso perished in the crash, alongside Kones’ bodyguard Kenneth Kiprono Bett and pilot Schner Christopher.

They were headed to Kericho to monitor Wednesday’s by-election where their party ODM’s candidate Benjamin Langat was contesting in Ainamoi.

The Ministers’ bodies were airlifted to Nairobi on Wednesday from the crash site in Narok, and an emotional ceremony was conducted at the Wilson Airport where senior Government officials led by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende were present to receive the bodies shortly after midday.

Preliminary investigations have ruled out engine failure as the cause of the plane crash and pointed towards bad weather instead.

An initial probe carried out by KCAA investigators at the crash site, showed that the plane was flying in poor visibility before losing altitude and crashing.

The Ministers are expected to be laid to rest in a week’s time.


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