Bodies of copter crash victims yet to be found

Roy Lumbe @ lumbe_roy

A special rescue team set up by the National Disaster Management Unit (NDMU) recovered the debris of the chopper that crashed into Lake Nakuru but were yet to find  bodies of the pilot and his four passengers.

The parts located so far included the plane’s doors, headphones used by some of the five victims who perished in the crash.

“Also found is a bag belonging to the pilot which contains the aircraft’s documents,” according to an official who spoke to journalists at the scene.

A combined team led by deep sea divers from the Kenya Navy, the Kenya Wildlife Service and the police continued with the recovery operation in the lake.

The victims are believed to have drowned in the middle of the lake moments after the crash at 6:30 am on Saturday with authorities ruling out any survivors after parts of the tail from the aircraft was discovered at the shore yesterday morning. Other parts of the ill-fated chopper including a first aid kit, plane manifest and a seat were discovered at the shores of the lake as search operation continued with the investigators condoning off the area in a bid to cover more ground.

According to a source at the KWS who sought anonymity told People Daily said that the area of the crash which has an elevation of 1,754 m above sea level harbours hundreds of hippopotamus saying that was one of the factors the operation has been slow.

He further added that the KWS in the Nakuru Park does not have any equipment to aid in such operations and had to wait for speed boats from Lake Naivasha which is a distance of 93km away.

“We had to stop operations on (Saturday) at the area after the hippos turned wild and we also have to protect the lives of our personnel. We don’t have any equipment to aid in such operations,” he said.

The bodies of the four victims identified as Anthony Kipyegon, Sammy Gitau, John Mapozi, Apollo Maloa (pilot) and a lady Veronicah by the time of going to press had not been recovered.

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