Eurocopter Carrying Internal Security Minister, His Assistant, Four Others Down Near Nairobi
Two Kenyan government officials were fatally injured Sunday along with four others when the Eurocopter AS 350B3e they were aboard went down in a forest near Nairobi.
Kenyan officials have confirmed that Security Minister George Saitoti and his assistant Orwa Ojode were aboard the plane. Also fatally injured in the accident were the pilot, Capt. Nancy Gituanja and crewman Luke Oyugi, as well as police officers Thomas Murimi and Joshua Tonkei.
Media sources indicated the helo was en route to Homa Bay Airport near Oyugis for a church service when the accident occurred. It had just departed from Wilson Airport when it went down.
In a statement, Kenyan President Mwai Kibake called Saitoti “a hardworking and determined public servant who was dedicated to the service sf Kenyans." Ojode was described as "one who had a focused approach while undertaking his duty with great zeal and determination as an assistant minister." He later declared three days of mourning for those lost.
Four years earlier, on June 10th 2008, an airplane carrying cabinet minister Kipkalya Kones and Lorna Laboso, who was at the time a member of Parliament for Sotik, Kenya, went down in the same area, resulting in their deaths.