Kenya Helicopter Crash Kills 4 Americans, Police Say
A helicopter carrying four Americans crashed in Kenya, killing them and the pilot, the Kenyan police said on Monday.
The National Police Service said in a Twitter thread that the helicopter crashed on Sunday evening in Central Island National Park, near the country’s northern border with Ethiopia. It said the cause of the crash had not yet been established and that the victims’ names would be released once their relatives were notified of the deaths.
The police service said the helicopter was one of two that had landed at a “tented camp” on the island, and that the other one had cleared the area safely. The Kenyan news outlet Capital FM Kenya reported early on Monday that the Americans were tourists who had visited the camp and were flying out when the crash occurred.
Capital FM Kenya identified the pilot as Mario Magonga and said that he had been among the pilots working for Kenya’s deputy president, William Ruto.
Kenyan pilot along with four tourists from the United States were killed Sunday evening in a helicopter crash near Central Island National Park in Lake Turkana, Kenya.
The pilot was identified as Mario Magonga while the identities of the tourists were not revealed. He was one of the pilots for Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto. The tourists were visiting Lobolo Tented Camp and were flying back when the chopper crashed. They were in the company of another helicopter that took off safely.
“Last evening at about 8 p.m., [12 p.m. EST], a helicopter crashed at Central Island National Park in Lake Turkana, killing all its five occupants on board. Security personnel dispatched to the scene confirmed that among the five were four Americans and the Kenyan pilot,” Police spokesman Charles Owino said in a statement to the media.
Magonga’s chopper went off the radar while it was flying near Lake Turkana, according to one of his relatives, Richard Onyonka, a lawmaker from Kitutu Chache South. Magonga was the only one flying the helicopter. The disappearance from the radar led to a search mission. The bodies and the wreckage of the chopper were found at 4 a.m. Monday morning. Security teams were dispatched to the scene to help with the recovery of the bodies and the wreck. The cause of the crash was not yet determined. The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority was investigating the incident.