3 hurt as Silverstone Air plane skids at Wilson Airport, Nairobi

Friday October 11 2019

Three people were seriously injured and three others hit by shock after a plane skidded off the runway at Wilson Airport in the capital Nairobi on Friday morning.

The accident involving the aircraft operated by Silverstone Air happened at 9.02am local time.


The cause of the skid was not immediately established but some pilots who spoke to the Nation in confidence said they suspected that one of the plane's two engines failed.

"No fatalities have been recorded, but three seriously injured passengers have been taken to hospital," said Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) Director-General Gilbert Kibe.

Witnesses say the aircraft with 50 passengers and five crew members on board lost its way during take-off to Mombasa on its way to Lamu.


It stopped outside the airport next to the Southern Bypass, which connects Mombasa Road to Kikuyu in Kiambu County.

Residents of Park Estate told the Nation that they heard a thud when the plane hit the ground.

This was then followed by sirens and strobe lights from ambulances and fire brigades.

Images from the scene showed that the Fokker 50 aircraft plunged into a thicket, hitting some trees and breaking part of its wing, before being grounded, tilted to one side.

The Fokker 50 is a turboprop-powered airliner, designed as a refinement of and successor to the highly successful Fokker F27 Friendship.

A passenger who had boarded the plane, Flight number SLR 621, told the Nation that they were yet to hit the skies when the pilot realised "some issues", without giving details.

Kenya Red Cross reported that the craft, registration number 5Y-IZO, "developed some technical hitch while taking off".


Emergency rescue teams at the airport evacuated the plane, with the pilot and some passengers being rushed to various hospitals for medical check-up.

Firefighters, who arrived on the scene in good time, sprayed thick foam on the plane as they battled to prevent flames.

In a brief statement posted on Twitter, Silverstone Air confirmed the accident, saying the plane was operating on the Wilson-Mombasa- Lamu-Mombasa-Wilson route.

"The passengers and crew have all been safely disembarked and we are currently working with the relevant authorities to assess the situation," the statement reads in part.

KAA said a team from the Aircraft Accident Investigations Directorate from the Transport ministry had been sent to Wilson to look into the cause of the accident.

Silverstone Accountable Manager Captain Sheila Muturi refused to comment on the cause of the mishap, saying it might interfere with ongoing investigations.

In a press briefing at the airport, Ms Muturi only said the aircraft was serviceable and that crew adhered to operation guidelines.

"We have a good safety record," she said.

The passengers who escaped unhurt were later put on other planes headed to Mombasa and Lamu, with business resuming at the airport that handles local flights.