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Plane skids off runway and gets stuck in mud in Mandera

Monday October 21 2019

Takaba Airstrip

A passenger plane skidded off the runaway and got stuck in the mud at the Takaba Airstrip in Mandera West on October 20, 2019. 30 passengers were evacuated. PHOTO | COURTESY  

MANASE OTSIALO
By MANASE OTSIALO
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A passenger plane, operated by local airline Rudufu Air, is stuck in the mud at Takaba Airstrip in Mandera West after skidding off the runway on Sunday.

An employee of Khadija Buko, a local flight booking agent, told the Nation that the plane is yet to be pulled out of the mud for the second day.

“We had 30 passengers on board when the incident happened and they are all safe in Takaba town,” the staffer, who is not authorised to speak to the media, said.

Efforts to pull the plane from the mud have not been successful.

“We tried to pull the plane (out of the mud) using a police lorry but it was impossible. We will either wait until the mud dries up or we get a tractor,” he said.

Current rains pounding northern Kenya have dampened the poorly maintained airstrip in Mandera West.

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Rudufu Air plane

People try to push the Rudufu Air plane's tyre out of the mud. PHOTO | COURTESY

EVACUATION

The aircraft skidded off the runaway during take-off to Mandera town after dropping off passengers at the airstrip on Sunday afternoon.

The Wilson Airport-based Rudufu Air operates the Nairobi-Takaba-Mandera route.

All passengers were evacuated to Takaba town, where they are being accommodated.

“All the passengers are safe and they will fly to Mandera once the plane is pulled out of the mud.”

Mandera West Deputy County Commissioner Kipkoech Labatt confirmed the incident saying efforts are underway to pull the plane out of the mud.

“We are getting a tractor,” he said, adding that the plane will proceed on its journey thereafter.

Rudufu Air could not reached for comment by the time of going to press.

UPGRADE

During Mashujaa Day fete, Mandera Governor Ali Roba said that the Takaba Airstrip would be fenced and upgraded in the next three months.

Earlier this year, locals had been opposed to its establishment claiming they were losing their grazing land.