Lake Nakuru Chopper Crash: As It Happened

A section of Lake Nakuru
In an UNFORTUNATE incident on Saturday, 21 October morning, a chopper carrying the media team linked to Nakuru's Senator Susan Kihika crashed into Lake Nakuru. According to a statement by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, there were no survivors among the five occupants of the plane.
The five were heading to Narok to accompany President Uhuru Kenyatta and other Jubilee Party leaders for a campaign rally.
  • The chopper left Jarika Hotel at 06.15 am. It crashed into the lake between 6.18-06.30 a.m.
  • Witnesses say it was flashing lights on all sides, moving very fast and in irregular shaking way
  • Occupants are feared to be the Captain, A lady called 'Vero', Sam Gitau, John Mapozi & Anto Mzalendo. They are the Nakuru Senator Susan W. Kihika media team.
  • They were headed to Narok for the Jubilee Presidential Campaigns in Narok & then Kajiado County.
  • Police helicopters searched the lake from to 6pm. There are no rescue boats at Lake Nakuru, hence the KWS had to wait for boats from Naivasha to be delivered after 4hours.
  • Part of the tail of the chopper was located on the water at 3pm. 
  • Nakuru County leaders attended the scene from the Governor, MPs, MCAs.
  • The rescue/recovery command center was headed by the Nakuru County Commissioner Mr. Nkanatha.
  • Information about the Kenya Navy deep sea diving experts would be involved was rumored. As at 06.00 pm Press Time, no bodies nor the chopper's wreckage had been sighted.
  • The operation was called off at 06.12 pm and would be resumed at 06.00 a.m.
  • Safety concerns are being raised around the area
Day 2. Sunday, 22 October 2017

  • Recovery operations resume from early morning.
  • Parts of the wreckage and debris from the plane recovered 
  • No bodies recovered yet and operations called off until Monday
  • National leaders send their condolence messages to the family/friends of the five who are presumed dead and emphasize on challenges Kenya has in disaster response.
  • Details emerge that before taking off on Saturday, the pilot and the other occupants were allegedly drunk.
  • "They arrived here at around six in the evening and booked their rooms but left the lodge only to come back this morning in company of a woman,” said Micah Loperes an attendant at the hotel. Loperes said the four men never checked out and didn’t have their breakfast either.
  • The chopper took off few minutes after 6am with the five aboard and the attendants said they saw it go round twice round Nakuru Town before it disappeared.
  • Waiters at the Platinum 7D Club, who were interviewed, said the four checked into the club in a large group at around 1am and they appeared to be club-hopping around town.
  • “I had a brief chat with the pilot who was seated at the counter. He was drinking beer and appeared drunk. I called his friends to take him away to rest. He could not walk on his own and his friends had to hold him. They left the club at 5:30am,” a waiter said.

Day 3, Monday 23 October 2017
Rescue operations have resumed.
The body of three victims have been found.
The bodies of pilot Apollo Malowa & Anthony Kipyegon identified, 2 still missing.
Rescue operations to continue tomorrow.

Several divers searching for the bodies of five people who died in the helicopter crash reportedly fell sick.
They are said to be suffering from typhoid due to contamination of the lake by sewerage. The lake is full of plastic bags, pieces of cloth and bottles.

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