George Saitoti and Orwa Ojode killed as police helicopter crashes and burns in Ngong
By Antony Karanja twitter@tgkaranja
Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and his assistant Orwa Ojode were killed after a helicopter crashed in Ngong and their bodies burned beyond recognition. The police helicopter crashed at Kibiku in Ngong and all the occupants burnt to death.
Those confirmed dead are Orwa Ojode, George Saitoti, Pilots (Nancy Gituanja and Luke Oyugi), Bodyguards (Inspector Tongei & Thomas Murimi)
According to sources on the ground, Prime Minister Raila Odinga has confirmed that he has received news of Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and Ass. Min. Orwa Ojode’s deaths in plane crash.
Ojode and Saitoti were headed to a funds drive in Ndhiwa at Nyarongi Catholic Church.
In May 2009, Ojode survived another chopper crash in Kapsabet township. (See video here) He was then accompanied by the then former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali, and former Rift Valley PC Hassan Noor Hassan. A number of journalists were also involved.
In this instance, Saitoti was supposed to have been on the same flight but he took a different one. He was leading the delegation.
President Mwai Kibaki has also sent a message of condolences to the families and friends of Prof Saitoti and Orwa Ojode.
“It is with great sadness that this morning I learnt of the tragic deaths of the Minister for Internal Security and Provincial Administration Prof George Saitoti and the Assistant Minister in the ministry Hon Orwa Ojode, their body guards and the pilot and co-pilot of the police helicopter that they were travelling in. The deaths of the six Kenyans is a devastating loss to our country,” he said.
“On behalf of the Government and the people of Kenya I send my heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and relatives of the six Kenyans. Minister Saitoti will forever be remembered as a hardworking and determined public servant who dedicated his time to the service of the Kenyan people,” he said.
According to eyewitnesses in Ngong, the plane was seen going round and round before it crashed. They also said that the helicopter crashed into the forest and there was visibility issues. They said it was around 8.45am.
The eyewitnesses said that the plane is completely burnt and only the propeller is somewhat intact. They say nobody on the ground was injured.
Police commissioner Matthew Iteere is said headed to the scene. Reports indicate that the top cop was supposed to be on the same flight but missed his flight from Mombasa.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has joined Mr Iteere at the scene of the crash.
PM Raila Odinga who is in Nakuru has cancelled his ODM Reloaded meetings saying we have lost great statesmen.
The ill-fated helicopter was acquired in January 2012 from Eurocopter Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd – ESAL. Here is the press release from Eurocopter afer the Kenya Police acquired the helicopter http://press.eurocopter.com/fr/press-release/kenya-police-air-wing-becomes-first-african-customer-operate-eurocopters-enhanced
Video of the scene of the crash: http://www.jambonewspot.com/footage-from-the-site-of-saitoti-and-ojode-plane-crash/
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