Helicopter crashes in Lake Nakuru

Saturday October 21 2017

By CAROLINE WAFULA
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By ERIC MATARA
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A helicopter has crashed in Lake Nakuru shortly after take off from a hotel in the town.

Nakuru OCPD Joshua Omukata confirmed the incident saying they were waiting for a boat to conduct the rescue as the chopper crashed inside the lake.

Reports indicate that there were five people on board the helicopter that crashed Saturday morning.

A graphic showing Jarika County Lodge and Lake

A graphic showing Jarika County Lodge and Lake Nakuru where the helicopter crashed. GRAPHIC | BENJAMIN SITUMA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika said three of those on board (names withheld) were members of her communication team.

The aircraft had left Jarika County Lodge and sources say it was flying low before it crashed.

The chopper was to later ferry more journalists to a campaign rally.

Relatives and friends of the five passengers,

Relatives and friends of the five passengers, who were on board of a chopper that crashed into Lake Nakuru on October, 2017. PHOTO | AYUB MUIYURO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has said there is no indication of survivors in the crash.

The authority Director General Gilbert Kibe confirmed that there five passengers on board. They include the pilot, three male passengers and a female passenger.

He also clarified that the aircraft is owned by Flex Air Charters run by a Captain Bootsy Mutiso.

A picture of Lake Nakuru where a chopper sunk

A picture of Lake Nakuru where a chopper sunk after it crashed on October 21, 2017. PHOTO | ERIC MATARA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Rescue efforts were yet to start four hours after the helicopter sunk in the lake as there is no boat nearby. The rescuers had to wait for a boat to be transported from Lake Naivasha.

The boat arrived a few minutes after 1pm.

National Disaster Management Unit Communications Director Pius Masai said a police helicopter has been deployed to assist in the rescue.

A National Police Service helicopter dispatched

A National Police Service helicopter dispatched to assist in the rescue operation flies over Lake Nakuru on October 21, 2017. PHOTO | AYUB MUIYURO |NAKURU

"We have activated the Kenya Defence Forces Disaster Response Unit) through National Operation Centre to bring divers from the Kenya Navy,” he said.

Nakuru leaders led by Governor Lee Kinyanjui were also at the Lake Nakuru National Park.

Other leaders present were MPs Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West), David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East), Jayne Kihara (Naivasha) and Liz Chelule (Woman Rep).

A boat transported from Naivasha to assist in

A boat transported from Naivasha to assist in rescue operation at Lake Nakuru on October 21, 2017. PHOTO | ERIC MATARA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Also present was the Nakuru County Assembly Speaker John Kairu.

Mr Gikaria said the team in the helicopter was heading to a campaign rally to be addressed by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Tipis, Mau Narok.