plane crash in kenya

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Jul 20th, 2003, 12:55 PM
  #1
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plane crash in kenya

Plane Carrying 12 American Tourists Crashes Into Mount Kenya; All 14 on Board Believed Dead
By Susan Linnee Associated Press Writer
Published: Jul 20, 2003

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - A twin-engine plane carrying 12 American tourists and two South African crew members en route to a game reserve crashed into Mount Kenya, apparently killing everyone on board, Kenyan officials said Sunday.
The South African-registered Fairchild Metro turboprop slammed into Point Lenana, the mountain's third-highest peak, at 6 p.m. Saturday as a cloudy sky was beginning to clear just before sunset, said Bongo Woodley, senior warden of the Kenya Wildlife Service in the area.

"We heard it immediately, and I have flown over the site and seen the crash, and there do not appear to be any survivors," Woodley said by telephone from the Mount Kenya National Park headquarters in Naro Moru, 75 miles north of Nairobi, the capital.

The passengers were members of three American families, said President Mwai Kibaki's spokesman, Isaiya Kabira.

Woodley said KWS rangers were preparing to trek to the crash site, located at 16,000 feet but that cloudy weather Sunday was complicating things. He said local police were also preparing to make the ascent.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement that "we understand that Kenyan authorities have reached the crash site and have begun the process of examining the site, and our embassy personnel are making plans to get to the site as soon as they are able to do so."

Mount Kenya, an extinct volcano and Africa's second-highest mountain, consists of three peaks: Batian at 17,157 feet; Nelion at 17,120 feet; and Point Lenana at 16,450 feet.

Woodley said he understood that according to a flight plan filed at Nairobi's Wilson Airport there were 14 people on the plane and that most were American tourists.

An official at Wilson Airport, who asked not to be further identified, said the 12 passengers on the aircraft that took off at 3:58 p.m. Saturday en route to the Masai Mara game reserve after a tour around Mount Kenya were all Americans and the two crew members were South Africans.

The State Department said the flight originated in Mozambique.

Kabira, the Kenyan president's spokesman, said the aircraft had been reported missing late Saturday.

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Jul 21st, 2003, 06:39 AM
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Jed
 
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Remember, it was a charter flight, not a reularly scheduled flight from an airline such as Air Kenya.
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Jul 21st, 2003, 06:52 AM
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Jed is absolutely right. I would remind people of the numerous tourist plane/helicopter crashes that take place every year at the Grand Canyon or in Hawaii. Such an incident as this should not thwart anyone's plans for flying in Kenya!
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Jul 21st, 2003, 07:37 AM
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LizFrazier
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The photos I saw on TV last night showed it was so foggy they couldn't get to the crash site. That can happen anywhere and fog around a mountain is always a risk. Glad to hear it wasn't Air Kenya nor a scheduled flight. Could be a pilot that wasn't used to the conditions too.
 
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Jul 21st, 2003, 09:16 AM
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Totally agree with you, Susan. We see car accidents every day and it doesn't stop us from driving. Kenya sounds so amazing, I hope to get there someday soon.
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Jul 21st, 2003, 04:30 PM
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Liz:

According to The Nation and East African Standard the pilot and co-pilot were South Africans.

In tonights paper they have recovered 10 bodies and are still looking for the others. Several of the recovery team became ill from the lack of oxygen on the mountain and once they got oxygen started doing a little better. Apparenty there was a lot of fog surrounding the mountain at the time of the crash. Also some questioned if the South Africans knew the area they were flying in.

What a terrible tragedy for one family to endure! Our thoughts and prayers go out to the remaining family members.

Jan
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Jul 21st, 2003, 05:35 PM
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LizFrazier
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Thanks Jan-
As usual you can be counted on to give the official Africa report. I think I'll name you the Online East Africa Reporter.
 
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Aug 10th, 2003, 06:58 PM
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This crash was on a reputable charter that regularly flies the J'burg-Kenya route with supposed experienced pilots. It has been devastating for most Atlantans - this family was by all counts very loved, respected and philanthropic within many areas of our city and community. This tragedy, however, will not and should not deter anyone from an African adventure, or anywhere else that is deemed "safe" to travel. I will probably pass on Iraq and Afghanistan this year...
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