Pilot killed as light plane crashes in Nairobi

August 1, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 1 – A light aircraft crashed into Nairobi’s Nyayo High Rise Estate on Saturday afternoon killing the pilot and injuring three other people on board, according to Head of police Operations in Nairobi Wilfred Mbithi.

He said the Cessna 206 came down at about 2.30pm local time and crashed just in front of a three storey flat.

“There were four people in the aircraft; they were rushed to different hospitals. Upon the crash people ran to the scene and put out the fire. The cause of the crash is not known but investigations are going on,” he said.

Two American photojournalists working for the ‘Give a Damn International’ a humanitarian organisation were admitted to the Nairobi Hospital and are being treated for burns.

A man working with the organisation told Capital News that the two were in stable condition.

The pilot and the engineer were admitted to the Armed Forces Memorial Hospital with one of them said to be critically injured.

Godfrey Mchanji was one of the first people to arrive at the scene. He lives in flat where the plane crashed. He said: “There was a man who had jumped out of the plane, the other three were inside. One of them had serious burns and he was in bad condition. The other walked to my car. I took them to two different hospitals.”

Rose Mueni a resident in Kibera’s Line Saba told Capital News that she saw the plane moments before it crashed.

“I heard a loud noise while I was in my kiosk. I looked up and saw a plane that was flying low. I realised there was problem because the doors of the plane were open and I could see people trying to jump out. The plane got lower, and as it went further I couldn’t see it anymore. Suddenly there was a huge fire. That’s when I ran there with other people,” she said.

Area residents put out the fire with soil. A fire brigade truck belonging to the city council was stoned by High Rise residents who said its crew took too long to respond to the inferno.

The accident scene was cordoned off by police officers in an operation led by the Nairobi Provincial Commissioner, Njoroge Ndirangu.

The plane’s wreckage littered the estate. No injuries, save for the craft’s occupants, were reported.


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