Ten Kenyan troops killed in military helicopter crash
At least ten Kenyan soldiers were killed on Thursday, 24 June 2021, when a helicopter carrying them crashed while landing near the capital Nairobi, the military. The Kenya Air Force Mi 171 E helicopter crashed at around 9h00am in the county of Kajiado, the military said in a statement. At least ten of the troops were killed and another 13 injured, domestic media reported, citing a Government administrator in the area. Those who were injured were airlifted to the military hospital in Nairobi for treatment, the military said, adding that air accident investigators were at the scene of the crash.
The soldiers aboard were on a training mission, officials said.
The Kenya Defence Forces have confirmed some of its personnel perished after a military chopper crashed in Kajiado West County. Kenya Defence Forces, however, did not mention the number of those killed in their statement. Kenya Defence Forces said all the passengers on board the Kenya Air Force helicopter Mi171E, which crashed upon landing at Ol Tepesi are accounted for and have been moved to safety.
"Regrettably, following the crash, we suffered casualties. The process of communicating with the families to relay the informational KDF condolences are underway," the statement read.
The area DC Morekwa Morang'a said at least 10 of those who were on board are feared dead. He said that as the chopper prepared to land, a large whirlwind occurred causing the pilot not to see the ground. The DC said the chopper was on its regular and normal exercises when the accident happened after takeoff from the Eastleigh Airbase on Thursday morning.
KDF said those injured were airlifted and are at the Defence Forces Memorial Hospital, Nairobi.
Aircraft accident investigators are at the site to establish the cause of the crash.
Kajiado County Police Commander Muthuri Mwongera said the accident happened at about 8h00am. The Police commander confirmed that it is an Army chopper that crashed 60km south of Oloopolos. Such choppers, they say, can carry a maximum of 26 passengers.
Kajiado West OCPD Vincent Kitili said 13 passengers were rescued and flown to Forces Memorial Hospital in Nairobi. "This a military operation and we are not supposed to share the information from the ground. The military has taken over. Our duty is to file a signal later," Kajiado Kitili said.
Commander Mwongera disclosed that there were 23 passengers including the pilots in the army chopper that crashed in Oltinga and already 13 have been rescued from the wreck. "The accident scene has been taken over by the military police and officers from the scenes of crime unit. They are retrieving the injuredand accounting for the dead," said Commander Mwongera.
One of the people on the ground said the chopper burst into flames as soon as it came down.
Source: Reuters, The Kenya Star