, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 2 – Investigations have commenced into the cargo plane crash that left four crew members dead in Nairobi on Wednesday.
General Service Unit and Administration Police officers took close to seven hours to remove bodies from the wreckage as the plane had rammed into a commercial building.
Transport Principal Secretary John Mosonik explained that specialised equipment had to be used to access the fuselage.
“The crash had a high impact and at this point in time we cannot be able to say anything but the investigation is going on. On the part of the ministry, we will do our best to ensure that the investigation is carried out as quickly as possible and we have experts on the ground. I would also like to sincerely that the security team on the ground,” he said.
After the fourth body was removed, air crash investigators moved into the scene where they sifted through the debris of the Fokker 50 cargo plane
“I would like to pass on behalf of the ministry and the government condolences to the family members who are affected by this crash. We will do our best as government to make sure that if there is any assistance we can give to the family we will be able to do so,” he said.
A night guard who witnessed the crash recounted events before the plane came down.
“I was going to the office downstairs and it is then that I heard a very loud noise. Turning back, I saw the plane swinging from side to side and in a few minutes, it had hit the electric wires on the side of the road and hit the building after which it burst into flames,” Martin Ndolo stated.
Nairobi Police Chief Benson Kibui commended response teams which rushed to the scene and put out the fire which had engulfed the building.
“Our GSU and APs were the first respondents. I would also like to thank the Red Cross, St John’s Ambulance and Kenya Airports Rescue teams are to be commended. This is because they responded on time and put out the fire. If they had not been there, all this shopping centre could have been razed,” he said. “They deserve a pat in the back, it is good work that is what we need to so that we can be able to work as a team and any time we have disasters, this is the Kenyan way and we will save lives.”
The plane, which was carrying miraa to Mogadishu, crashed onto the commercial building along the Eastern by-pass about five minutes after it took off from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Officials at the airport say the pilot had tried to contact the control tower with a distress signal shortly before the crash.