Owners of plane that crash-landed in Lang’ata with journalists aboard speak out, Odinga sends message

Plane crashes at Lang’ata with journalists aboard [PHOTO | EDAILY]

Three Royal Media Services Ltd journalists, a pilot and a co-pilot, who were traveling from the Wilson Airport to Baringo County by plane, a Cessna 206, which crash landed at the Lifespring Christian Centre in Lang’ata, Nairobi Wednesday afternoon (July 12), are out of danger, says Deputy County Commissioner for Lang’ata Sub-County, Philip Lemalasia.

The journalists were heading to Baringo County to cover campaign rallies by the Opposition outfit, the National Super Alliance (NASA).

“The journalists are undergoing treatment after sustaining minor injuries; majorly on the head and limbs,” said Citizen TV’s Stephen Letoo, who visited them at a Nairobi hospital.

Advantage Air, the owners of the five-seater commercial flight, Cessna 206 Registration 5Y-PEB, and operated by Ribway Air Cargo, say the plane was in perfect condition at the time of take off; 1:52pm Wednesday, saying they, alongside a relevant authority, are yet to establish the cause of the crash.

“They were flying very low. The pilot said everything was okay. They did not raise any alarm. Normally, when there is a danger, the pilot reports and lands in an emergency,” Peter Kamau, who maintains the plane, told Citizen Digital.

Deputy County Commissioner for Lang’ata Sub-County, Philip Lemalasia, says investigations into the crash have begun.

“The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) are here (Lifespring Christian Centre). They are actually conducting investigations as you can see. We also have the owners of the plane, who are trying to establish what happened. But all in all, what we can see is: if the plane would have crash-landed on the Southern Bypass, the casualties would have been more; the damage, also, would have been higher,” said Mr. Lemalisia.

“The place it was able to land into (sic), luckily enough, was inside the Lifespring Christian Centre compound. Currently, all the five passengers (three journalists, a pilot and a co-pilot) are out of danger,” added Mr. Lemalasia.

“We are grateful to the people around and the security officers from Lang’ata Sub-County, who were able to respond to the accident on time. The pilot, I believe, tried his very best to avoid crashing into the school (Lifespring Christian Academy) buildings. He was able to maneuver the plane to a distance away from the school’s buildings.”

“The pilot and co-pilot were taken to Nairobi Hospital, whereas the Royal Media Services journalists were initially rushed to Kibera South Health Centre before being referred to Nairobi Hospital for further treatment. We are happy to report that they are all out of danger,” said Mr Lemalasia.

Opposition leader, Raila Odinga, who was addressing rallies in Baringo County at the time of the accident, has sent a get well soon message to the accident victims.

“On behalf of the National Super Alliance and myself, I extend deep sympathy, best wishes and prayers for quick recovery to the journalists from the Royal Media Services who sustained injuries today when their plane crashed shortly after taking off to Baringo from Nairobi,” said Odinga.

“Mr. Mauritius Oduor, Sam Ogina from Citizen TV and Joseph Njane from Radio Citizen, who are some of the finest reporters in the country, were on their way to cover the NASA rallies in Baringo when their crashed. This tragedy reminds us of the sacrifices journalists face daily in their quest to keep our citizens informed, an effort we sometimes take for granted until an incident like today’s happens. We thank God for their saved lives and we assure the reporters, the Kenyan media fraternity and the Royal Media family in particular that our thoughts and prayers are with them,” added Odinga.

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