KDF Chopper Crash: On Thursday morning, over 10 Kenya Defense Forces personnel perished after a military chopper crashed in Kajiado West County. The ten were out of about 23 personnel on board the ill-fated Kenya Air Force helicopter Mi171E .
“Regrettably, following the crash, we suffered casualties. The process of communicating with the families to relay the informational KDF condolences are underway,” a statement from the military said.
The area DC Morekwa Morang’a said that the chopper was on its regular and normal exercises when the accident happened after takeoff from the Eastleigh Airbase. Hours later, details of what might have happened have emerged.
According to one report that appeared in the Daily Nation on Friday, the accident was caused by poor vision and dust which affected visibility. The Captain, a female pilot, was reported to have experienced disorientation and loss of situational awareness. This resulted in a brown-out, an in-flight visibility restriction, which affected landing thus crashing the plane.
Just before the crash, the chopper was spotted circling in a zigzag manner around the Oltinka Shopping Centre. Reports add that a rope was lowered which soldiers attempted to use to disembark from the chopper. 13 soldiers evacuated successfully, but sustained serious injuries in the process.
When the chopper crashed and started to burn, the weapons in the plane alongside ammunition that had been carried by the soldiers resulted in an explosion. The explosion was so huge that it became impossible to rescue soldiers who were still stuck in the chopper. It was reported that about 10 of them died.