- A helicopter crashed over a national park in northwest Kenya at 8 p.m. local time on Sunday.
- All five people on board – four American tourists and their Kenyan pilot – died.
- Three of the four American tourists have been named as Anders Asher Jesiah Burke, Brandon Howe Stapper, and Kyle John Forti.
- The pilot, Mario Magonga, previously served in Kenya’s Defence Forces and had been cleared to fly high-profile guests in the past.
- The cause of the crash is not clear.
A helicopter crashed over a national park in northwest Kenya on Sunday, killing all five people on board, police say.
The victims were four American tourists and their Kenyan pilot, the Kenyan National Police Service tweeted on Monday morning.
In a statement to INSIDER, the US Embassy in Nairobi confirmed the death of the four Americans, and named three of them as Anders Asher Jesiah Burke, Brandon Howe Stapper, and Kyle John Forti.
The pilot, Mario Magonga, previously served in Kenya’s Defence Forces, the country’s Daily Nation newspaper reported. His cousin reportedly told the NTV news channel that Magonga had been cleared to fly people requiring high security in the past, including former president Barack Obama.
It’s not clear whether Magonga actually flew Obama, or merely had clearance to.
The helicopter crashed over Central Island National Park, a small island in Lake Turkana, Kenya’s largest lake, at 8 p.m. on Sunday, police said.
Last evening at about 8pm, a helicopter crashed at Central Island National Park in Lake Turkana, killing all its five occupants on board.
Security personnel dispatched to the scene confirmed that among the five were four Americans and the Kenyan Pilot. 1/3
— National Police Service-Kenya (@NPSOfficial_KE) March 4, 2019
The cause of the crash remains unknown.
The US Embassy in Nairobi said: “We offer our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of all those killed in the crash. We are providing all appropriate consular assistance to the families of the American citizens.”
Sunday’s crash came less than three weeks after a light aircraft crashed in Londiani, west Kenya, and killed all five people on board. Three of them were American.
Small plane crashes have become increasingly common in Kenya, The Associated Press reported, calling into question the country’s aviation safety record.
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