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Plane crashes in Kenya's Maasai Mara, 4 foreigners alongwith pilot dead


Plane crashes in Kenya's Maasai Mara, 4 foreigners alongwith pilot dead

A Kenyan pilot and four foreigners have died after a small plane carrying them from Kenya's Maasai Mara nature reserve crashed in the west of the country, police said Wednesday. "There were five occupants in the plane and they did not survive," said Edward Mwamburi, police chief for the Rift Valley region.

He said the Cessna plane was heading from the famed Maasai Mara to Lodwar, near Lake Turkana, which is also popular with tourists. "There was a Kenyan pilot on board and four foreign nationals," said James Mugera, a commander with the Kericho police. Emergency services have been sent to the scene. In June last year, a plane belonging to the FlySAX airline crashed on the edge of the Aberdares mountain range, leaving 10 people dead.

Kenya has a vibrant airline industry, with national airline Kenya Airways operating internationally and locally alongside successful low-cost airlines and charter companies. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in 2014, some 130,000 planes land and take off from Kenya each year, and the country has 35 operating airlines.

The IATA said Kenya's air transport infrastructure quality ranks 6th out of 37 countries surveyed in Africa. In October 2017 five passengers were killed when a helicopter crashed into Lake Nakuru, while in 2012 a helicopter carrying internal security minister George Saitoti crashed, killing all six passengers on board.

Kenya's worst crash in recent years took place in 2007, when a Kenya Airways flight from Abidjan to Nairobi via Douala crashed into a swamp after take-off, killing all 114 passengers. In 2000 another Kenya Airways flight from Abidjan to Nairobi crashed into the Atlantic Ocean minutes after take-off, killing 169 people while 10 survived.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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