NAIROBI – Eight passengers and two pilots were killed when a scheduled domestic flight to Kenya’s capital Nairobi crashed into a mountain late on Tuesday, a senior government official said on Thursday.
The single turboprop Cessna Caravan plane, operated by local firm FlySax, lost contact with the control tower minutes before it was scheduled to land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport while flying from Kitale, a farming town in the west.
Aerial search teams spotted wreckage on a densely forested cliff in the Aberdare Range in central Kenya, said Paul Maringa, principal secretary at the ministry of transport.
“A ground team of military specialists in mountain rescue operations has been dispatched to the site,” Maringa told a news conference.
The team reached the site by lunch time local time and established all aboard had died, Maringa said at a second news briefing.
“There are no survivors. The families of the passengers and the crew have been notified,” he said, adding that an investigation had started. President Uhuru Kenyatta offered assistance to the families of victims, a government statement said.
Images on local television news showed the plane was destroyed on impact. The search and rescue efforts were being hampered by bad weather including dense fog, Maringa said.
Local air travel has grown in recent years as the economy has expanded and national flag carrier Kenya Airways launched a low-cost domestic carrier called JamboJet in 2014.