Families of chopper crash victims confide in each other

Saturday November 4 2017


Relatives and friends of the passengers who were aboard the helicopter that crashed into Lake Nakuru wait to be briefed on the progress of the search mission on November 3, 2017. Three bodies have not yet been retrieved. PHOTO | AYUB MUIYURO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Relatives of the three passengers aboard the helicopter that crashed into Lake Nakuru last month are expected to attend the burial ceremony of one of the victims as the rescue operation continues.

The families on Friday confirmed their attendance of Anthony Kipyegon's burial in Eldama Ravine on Saturday.

Kipyegon's body was retrieved from the lake on October 23 alongside that of the pilot, Apollo Malowa, who were among the five passengers of the chopper that fell into the lake on October 21.

Kipyegon was part of Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika’s media team.

The other missing victims are Mr Sam Gitau, Mr John Mapozi and Ms Veronica Muthoni.

"We shall be attending the burial so as to give the family the moral support they need as we hope that the rescue team will find our daughter," Veronica's father, Mr David Mwangi, said.

After the ceremony, he said, they will head back to the rescue site at the lake.

Mr David Ng’ang'a, the chairman of the committee formed by the victims' relatives, also confirmed their attendance.

"We want to be together with the family since we feel that they are part of us," he said on Friday.

The rescue team has remained steadfast despite many setbacks, such as volunteer divers from Naivasha and Bomet County pulling out.

The National Disaster Operation Centre desk officer Jonathan Kertich nonetheless expressed optimism of accomplishing their task.

"We understand the divers have been here for more than a week and have some expenses they need to take care of.

"We approve of any decision they take since they have helped us a lot," Mr Kertich said.

The official went ahead to assure the families that the operation will still proceed.

The team comprises divers from the National Police Service, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Navy, Kenya Red Cross Society and Sonko Rescue Team.