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Officer in chopper mishap dies

ELDORET, Kenya, May 18 – A police officer who was among those injured in last week’s helicopter crash in Kapsabet died in hospital on Sunday.

The Administration Police Inspector, who was detailed as the personal bodyguard to Internal Security Permanent Secretary Francis Kimemia, succumbed to his injuries at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.

“He had suffered severe multiple head injuries and brain damage sustained during the accident,” one of his colleagues who had seen him in hospital said.

“He even had difficulties talking, we have been praying for him but we have been informed he is dead.”

Administration Police Commandant Kinuthia Mbugua told Capital News that they were making arrangements to transfer his body to Nairobi.

“We have received the reports. It is so sad to lose such a young officer with a promising career,” he said.

Other survivors of the crash are still admitted to the Nairobi Hospital, while some have been discharged.

They included journalists and senior officials at the Internal Security Ministry who had accompanied Minister Professor George Saitoti and Police Commissioner Mohammed Hussein Ali in a security tour of Kapsabet and its environs.

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Professor Saitoti was travelling in a different plane but his Assistant Orwa Ojode was in the police helicopter that crash-landed. He sustained minor injuries.

Other dignitaries in the ill-fated chopper included Rift Valley Provincial Commissioner Hassan Noor Hassan, the police chief, senior ministry officials and journalists.

Investigations into the cause of the crash have been launched but so far, the pilot has indicated it crash-landed after it lost power barely 15 seconds of take off.

Air mishaps involving ancient-helicopters for the police and military commonly used by top government officials including President Mwai Kibaki have become common in Kenya, raising questions over their safety and efficiency.

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