(Posted 21st November 2023)
All images from social media.
In what sounds like a Black Friday scenario did two helicopters, one privately owned and one belonging to the Kenya Army, crash in Wajir / Northern Kenya in the space of just a few hours.
A Eurocopter AS 350B3+ Ecureuil, registered as 5Y-SDL, MSN 4296, crashed with three on board – two pilots and one government officials – shortly after taking off, leaving the three occupants injured, one of them seriously according to information received from an aviation source in Nairobi. The helicopter was trying to take off from Wajir (IATA: WJR) to deliver national examination documents to a location named as Arbajahan.
A police official later commented, saying “Today at around 1203 hours, a Prime Aviation helicopter reg 5Y- SDL piloted by captains Kiroken and James Ndirangu and on board one Abey Jimaale MCA Arabajahan Ward crashed at the runway at Wajir International Airport while taking off to Arbajahan”
An air accident investigation has been launched and officials reportedly arrived on site already in the late afternoon.
A second helicopter crash also occured near by at Buna Hospital, when a Kenya Airforce Mil Mi-171E crashed around 16.00 hrs (4 pm), just four hours after the first crash reported about earlier in the article.
The army helicopter was used to deliver much needed food aid to flood affected people in the Wajir area, had taken off but then suddenly, according to reports received, began to sway before crashing back on the ground. None of the occupants was apparently injured.
The Kenyan Armed Forces’ statement which was expected had not come in at the time of uploading this report.