Paul Maringa: FlySax plane reasonably damaged, rescue efforts on

Wreckage of the FlySax plane that has been located in the Aberdares is “reasonably” damaged, Transport Principal Secretary Paul Maringa has said.

Prof Maringa on Thursday said the wreck of the Cessna C208 aircraft, registration number 5Y-CAC, was found at 6.45am by the aerial search team at Elephant Point, some 11,000 feet above sea level.

“A ground team of military specialists in mountain rescue operations has been dispatched to the site, which is 11,900ft up a 400m cliff face in a dense area,” Prof Maringa told journalists at Transcom House in Nairobi.

“A recovery team, including medics has been directed there, and the Red Cross is on board too.”

The condition of the plane’s two crew members and eight passengers is not yet known.

“Investigations into the probable cause of the accident have commenced. We shall update you with more information as and when it becomes available.”

On the ground in Nyandarua, County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich says they have stepped up efforts to reach the crash scene.

“Our search team did not go to bed, its now a matter of landing to do the rescue,” he said. “The rescue team has strategised on how to land and conclude the job.”

Mr Cherutich said ta total of seven helicopters would be used in the rescue mission.

Two aerial cranes (heavy helicopters) from Kenya Defence Forces and Kenya Police are set to lead rescue efforts once the cloudy and misty weather clears.

The giant helicopters will guide five lighter choppers that will be used to lift passengers and crew, whose condition is yet to be known.

The light choppers were expected to take off from the command centre any minute from 8am.

The plane has been missing for over 36 hours and efforts to locate it on Wednesday were hampered by bad weather.

The only achievement that the multi-agency team recorded on Wednesday was putting logistics in place, including a command centre at Njambini Boys High School.

The plane, operated by Fly Sax, left a Kitale airstrip in Trans-Nzoia County at 4.05pm for Nairobi but lost contact with the control tower at 5.20pm.

On board were the pilot, Captain Barbra Wangeci Kamau, First Officer Jean Mureithi and eight passengers — Ahmed Ali Abdi, Karaba Sailah Waweru Muiga, Khetia Kishani,

Matakasakaraia Thamani, Matakatekei Paula, Ngugi George Kinyua, Pinuertorn Ronald and Wafula Robinson.

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