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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

No survivors found with crashed plane in the Aberdare forest

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government confirmed on Thursday that there are no survivors found at the crash site of the light aircraft that went missing in the Aberdare forest in central Kenya on Tuesday.

Paul Maringa, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Transport told journalists in Nairobi that all passengers who were on board the missing Fly-Sax plane have been confirmed dead.

Maringa said the search team confirmed the deaths after reaching the point where the 12-capacity aircraft crashed at the Aberdare forest.

Maringa said the families of the 10 people, among them eight passengers and two crew members, who perished in the accident, have been notified.

"A Mountain Rescue Team from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has reached the wreckage of the aircraft. Unfortunately, there are no survivors," Maringa told journalists in Nairobi.

"We send out our condolences to the families. Accidents happen whether it is on air, road at sea.

"Even as we grief, we also need to appreciate the efforts of the rescue team," Maringa said, adding that investigations have been launched to establish the cause of the crash.

"We do not want to speculate rescue for air-plane is a very technical thing.

"This is why they are not investigated by anybody but the air accident investigation department in the ministry," he added.

The plane was on its way to the capital of Nairobi from Kitale in western Kenya and was reported missing on Tuesday afternoon.

Fly-SAX chairman Charles Wako also confirmed the deaths.

"It is with a heavy heart that we have received information from the teams reaching the crash site that there are no survivors," Wako said in a statement.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

Kenya says missing aircraft spotted in forest

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The wreckage of a small plane which disappeared in the Aberdare forest in central Kenya on Tuesday has been found early Thursday, a senior government official said.

Principal Secretary for the Kenyan Ministry of Transport Paul Maringa said that aerial search teams spotted the Fly-SAX plane early Thursday.

"The missing plane has been spotted this morning southwest of the Abardare area.

The government will be issuing a statement," Maringa said.

The Fly-SAX plane, with 10 people on board, was flying from the Kitale airstrip in western Kenya to the capital of Nairobi when it lost contact with the control tower.

Nyandarua County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich said Wednesday that the search mission had been hampered by the bad weather during which the light aircraft was suspected to have crashed.

The light aircraft, operated by East African Safari Air Express (EASAX) trading as Fly-SAX, was carrying eight passengers and two crew members, according to the company’s statement on Tuesday night.
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Kenya intensifies ground search operations after spotting missing plane

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan search teams said on Thursday that they have intensified ground operations after sighting the missing small plane that went missing in the Aberdare forest in central Kenya on Tuesday.

Daniel Nyameti, Nyandarua County Deputy Commissioner, said the ground team began the search early Thursday after the aerial search teams spotted the wreckage of the Fly-SAX plane at the peak of the Aberdare range.

"Our aerial search commenced early morning and it has yielded to positive/good results, we have focused point, we are narrowing down to the spot to confirm.

To reach the spot, it may require sometime or hours due to rugged terrain," Nyameti told journalists.

The Fly-SAX plane, registration number 5Y-CAC, was flying from the Kitale in western Kenyan to the capital of Nairobi when it lost contact with the control tower on Tuesday afternoon.

The 12-seat aircraft had 10 people on board—eight passengers and two crew members.

Families of those involved in the crash expressed their frustration with the grueling wait for the outcome of the rescue operations.

But the government has assured the country that all efforts are being done to reach the spot and called for calm.

Family and friends of the missing passengers and crew have been gathering at a hotel in Nairobi awaiting further information.

Paul Maringa, Transport Ministry Principal Secretary, said on Thursday that the helicopter that was conducting aerial surveillance located the Fly SAX aircraft in Njabini.

"The ground search will intensify in the next hour despite poor weather conditions that are posing a challenge," Maringa told journalists in Nairobi.

He said the wreck of the plane, registration number 5Y-CAC was found at 6.45 a.m local time by the aerial search team at Elephant Point, some 11,000 feet above sea level.

"A ground team of military specialists in mountain rescue operations has been dispatched to the site, which is 11,900ft up a 400m cliff face in a dense area," Maringa said.

"A recovery team, including medics has been directed there, and the Red Cross is on board too," he added. However, the condition of the plane’s two crew members and eight passengers is not yet known.

Maringa said investigations into the probable cause of the accident have commenced and promised to update the country as and when it becomes available.

Nyandarua County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich said the search team has stepped up efforts to reach the crash scene.

"It’s now a matter of landing to do the rescue.

"The rescue team has strategized on how to land and conclude the job," Cherutich said.
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Kenya calls off search for missing aircraft over bad weather

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Search for the missing small plane that went missing in central Kenya on Tuesday was called off for the second time on Wednesday due to bad weather.

Nyandarua County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich said the search mission had been hampered by bad weather in the Aberdares forest where the light aircraft is suspected to have crashed.

The aircraft, operated by Fly-SAX, was carrying eight passengers and two crew members, the company said in a statement Tuesday night.

It lost contact with the control tower Tuesday afternoon while flying from Kitale in northwest Kenya to Nairobi.

"The search has been halted due in the Aberdares because of bad weather and will resume Thursday at 6 a.m.

"We hope the weather will improve tomorrow," Cherutich said by phone.

The government administrator said the search team has not received any communication from the two female pilots or other passengers except signals that had been received early Wednesday.

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said the phone signals of the two pilots were traced to Njabini area in Kinangop in central Kenya.

The Fly-SAX said two helicopters were dispatched to the location of the aircraft on Wednesday but due to poor weather they had limited ability to search the area.

"As the weather slightly cleared during the day, (Fly-SAX) further deployed three extra helicopters to join the search and rescue efforts under the control of the National Disaster Unit," the company said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

It said the aircraft had not been sighted and the search will continue.
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Kenyan rescuers locate signals from missing plane

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Searchers have located signals from a small plane that went missing in the Aberdares forest in central Kenya Tuesday, the rescue team told Xinhua on Wednesday.

Rescuers from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, the Air Accident Investigation Division, police and Kenya Wildlife Service as well as other responders are combing the area that stretches to the northwest region of Kinangop.

However, there was still no information if there were any survivors.

The aircraft, operated by East African Safari Air Express, was carrying eight passengers and two crew members, the company said in a statement Tuesday night.

It lost contact with the control tower Tuesday afternoon while flying from Kitale in northwest Kenya to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.

Reports said it probably flew into a bad storm.

             

 

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