Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Four dead in Mara plane crash

By GEORGE SAYAGIE gsayagie@ke.[email protected]

Four people died Wednesday after a plane crashed at an airstrip in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.

The dead were two pilots and two passengers.

Six passengers on board the 5YUV7 light aircraft, belonging to Mombasa air, were seriously injured as the pilots prepared to land at Ngerede Airstrip near the Mara Safari Club.

The airstrip manager Daniel Jivai, who spoke to Nation on the telephone, said he saw the aircraft wobble before it came down at around 12:17 pm.

He said 12 tourists, who were travelling from Mombasa to the Mara, were on board the plane at the time of the accident.

Three of the passengers were trapped in the wreckage but were rescued by hotel and airstrip personnel.

The rest of the passengers were receiving first aid.

“When we saw it coming down, there was a swift response from hotel personnel, tourists, and other visitors around the place and we managed to put off a small fire on one of the engines," said Mr Jivai.

A government team led by Narok South district commissioner, Chamwanga Mongo, was deployed to the area to carry out investigations.

Tourists travelling to see the spectacular wildebeest migration from Serengeti plains in Tanzania to the Mara are opting for air travel due to the bad state of the Narok-Mara road.

Cooperatives minister Joseph Nyaga, who was in Narok for an official function, cut short his speech to observe a minute of silence for those who died in the accident.

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