Two killed as light aircraft crashes in Kenya

15:09, November 10, 2009      

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A light cargo plane crashed in Nairobi, Kenya, killing two crew members.

Eyewitnesses said the American made aircraft BC 1900 had taken off 0330 GMT at Wilson Airport before it was forced to turn back after the pilot reported it had developed mechanical problems.

The light aircraft that was transporting miraa, also known as khat which is a mild narcotic leaf, to Mogadishu, Somalia, crashed just a few meters from the runway before bursting into flames.

The pilot died as he was being taken to hospital, while his co-pilot later died at the hospital where he had been admitted in critical condition.

Airport officials said the crew decided to return to crash-land at the airport after being airborne for about two hours. But the plane crashed into the airport's fence and burst into flames before landing onto a ditch near the runway.

The plane's black box has been retrieved and the Civil Aviation officials have launched investigations into the accident.

The accident continues to raise doubts about the safety of planes taking off and landing at the airport in southern Nairobi.

It was the fourth plane tragedy to have occurred near the airport -- whose runway borders the Nairobi National Park, on one side, and human settlements, on the other -- in the last four months.

In September, a light police aircraft on a routine training mission crashed and burst into flames near the airport, injuring two officers who were on board.

The two were a pilot and his student were both police officers attached to the Police Air Wing unit based at the airport.

Source: Xinhua
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