An unknown number of people, including two pilots of a private jet, narrowly escaped death after their plane crashed immediately before it took off at the Malindi Airport yesterday.The 12-seater plane allegedly hit a pothole and its tyre burst as it took off.
Witnesses said the plane rolled from North where it was heading and faced South before crashing with one of its wings down.A group of casuals labourers building the the airport's fence said the plane had stayed at the airport less than an hour.
The accident disrupted activities at the airport for several hours as rescue teams, including the two firefighting engines, ambulances rushed to the scene to help.
It is alleged that the airport’s runway is full of potholes and contributed to accident, the second in two weeks.''The plane left the hanger and upon reaching the beginning of the runway, it increased speed so as to be able to take off from the Northern side,'' said Simon Kama, who was at the airport when the accident occurred.“It rolled and landed outside the runway, and moments later, we saw two people walking out of the plane,’’ he said.Curious onlookers jammed the airport’s fence as the security officials tried to handle the emergency.
Journalists were roughed up by the airport security officers who barred them from accessing the scene, forcing them to take pictures when far away from the scene.
Some of the security personnel also pursued the journalists to the fence but never caught up with them as they escaped to an interior area which was not visible.
Airport manager Walter Agong told the journalists to wait from outside as it was against the airport rules for them to access the accident scene.
He promised to call them later for further briefings as he was still in a ‘crucial meeting’ and could not immediately confirm anything.It was however not clear whether the plane belonged to foreigners or Africans.
Two weeks ago, a plane crashed a few meters from