DP Ruto’s pilot, four Americans die in Turkana plane crash

DP William Ruto’s pilot Captain Mario Magonga who perished in the Turkana choppper crash.

Four Americans are among the dead in a plane crash that happened in Turkana County. Five passengers – four Americans and a Kenyan pilot died after a chopper they were in crashed in Lake Turkana Central Island.

The Standard reported of conflicting reports on the exact time the crash happened as helicopters are not allowed to fly at night.   

Officials said the chopper belongs to Deputy President William Ruto. His official pilot Captain Mario Magonga was the pilot of the chopper. The passengers are believed to be tourists and had visited Lobolo Tented camp on the island’s national park.

The tourist group had two choppers and one managed to clear from the ground and flew to Nairobi. As the second one tried to clear, it crashed killing all five on board, witnesses said.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officials rushed to the scene minutes later and confirmed the incident.The bodies and wreckage of the plane were left at the site until Monday morning as plans were being made to fly them back to Nairobi.It is not clear what caused the accident. But experts were sent to the scene to investigate it.

Kitutu Chache MP Momoima Onyonka who is a cousin to Magonga said the family was Monday morning headed for Wilson Airport to receive the bodies.

In a Tweet, the National Police Service said the cause of the incident is yet to be established and the details of the deceased will be released once the next of kin have been notified.

The Central Island National Park is described as “The Gem of Lake Turkana”. The park is managed by KWS and made up of three crater lakes – Crocodile lake, Flamingo lake and Tilapia lake. “The islands are home to hippo, bats and the largest Nile crocodile population,” reads the KWS website.

The island also boasts over 350 recorded bird species including large flocks of flamingos. A major attraction is the crocodiles which breed on the shored of the island’s crater lakes between April and May. Access to the Park is normally by air. There are two all-weather airstrips that visitors use. By road, it takes three days from Nairobi via Marsabit and North Horr or Maralal and South Horr. 


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