RESCUE OPERATIONS ON

Four feared dead after military chopper crashes in Voi

Poor weather, mechanical problems probable causes of the accident

In Summary

• Military sources told the Star that the plane had been dispatched to pick vice-chief of the military Levi Mghalu who was at his rural home in Voi.

• Poor weather in the area is understood to be the main probable cause of the crash. Sources also cite possible mechanical issues with the plane.

A KDF chopper dispatched to Magarini to rescue more than 3,000 flood victims who were marooned after river Sabaki burst its banks on April 26.
A KDF chopper dispatched to Magarini to rescue more than 3,000 flood victims who were marooned after river Sabaki burst its banks on April 26.
Image: FILE

Four people were feared dead on Tuesday evening after a military helicopter with an unknown number of passengers crashed in Tsavo National Park, Taita Taveta county.

Kenya Defense Forces confirmed the accident via Twitter. "Today 12 Jan 21, mid-morning, a Kenya Air Force aircraft, model Harbin Y-12, crashed in Voi, Taita Taveta County. The aircraft was from Moi Air Base, Eastleigh, Nairobi. Recovery efforts are underway," the KDF tweet read.

 Harbin Y-12 or Yunshuji-12 is a twin-engine light multi-role aircraft designed and developed by Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation of China.

Military sources told the Star that the plane had been dispatched to pick vice-chief of the military Levi Mghalu who was at his rural home in Voi.

Poor weather in the area is understood to be the main probable cause of the crash. Sources also cite possible mechanical issues with the plane.

Senior police and KWS personnel were the first to arrive at the scene to lead rescue operations.

A similar crash in July last year claimed the lives of two army majors — Jacob Agunda and Robert Ngombwa — at Kithyoko in Masinga area, Machakos county. The copter gunship-MD 530F-was among six fighter crafts Kenya had procured from the US in January 2020. 

Tuesday's crash came in the wake of sustained attacks by al Shabaab militants.