Pilot Killed After Kenyan Plane Crashes In Somalia [PHOTOS]
Initial reports indicate there was one fatality and two people injured.
The pilot of a United Nations (UN)-contracted cargo plane died on Thursday, January 18 after the aircraft crashed while landing on an airstrip in El-Barde in Somalia's South West State.
A statement from the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia revealed that the aircraft was transporting humanitarian supplies for the World Food Programme when it veered off the runway.
Initial reports indicate there was one fatality and two people injured. Following the crash, locals in photos shared online were seen rushing towards the scene of the plane crash to rescue the occupants.
Two passengers were rescued from the scene, however, the pilot died as a result of the injuries.
Scene of a plane belonging to Jetways Airlines Fokker 50 that crashed in Somalia on January 18, 2024. /BREAKING AVIATION NEWS
"The United Nations in Somalia expresses its condolence to the family and colleagues of the victim and wishes a speedy recovery for the injured.
"The United Nations is working with the contracted airline company and federal and South West State authorities to investigate the incident," read the statement.
Viral Tea has established through spot checks that the aircraft registered as 5Y-JWG is a Fokker 50 cargo belonging to Jetways Airlines Limited, and it sported a Kenyan flag on its tail.
Jetways Airlines Limited is a Kenyan-registered airline company based at Wilson Airport, Nairobi.
"We are fully licensed to operate scheduled, non-scheduled and adhoc air charter services in Kenya and the greater East and Central African region," describes the company on LinkedIn.
The crash is the first one involving a Kenyan plane in 2024, coming after the country witnessed five plane crashes in 2023.
The most recent one occurred on December 17, 2023, when 10 people sustained serious injuries after an aircraft they were travelling in crashed in the Kiunga area in Lamu County.
Videos seen by Viral Tea showed the light aircraft engulfed in flames, likely an effect of hitting the ground. Reports indicated that the 10 included seven Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officers, a police officer, the pilot and his co-pilot.
Lamu East Deputy County Commissioner George Kubai confirmed the incident, saying the ten were returning to Nairobi after dropping off students from an educational tour in Nairobi. The trip was sponsored by a local legislator.
Screengrabs of images of scenes of a KDF plane crash in Lamu on December 17, 2023. /FILE
The Cessna aircraft had flown to Kiunga last week to pick up pupils who had excelled in the 2023 KCPE exams for the educational trip to Nairobi and flew them back safely before the accident occurred.
Kubai explained that the plane took off from Kiunga airstrip with ten people on board and hit electricity poles and wires before crashing and bursting into flames. One house was burnt in the 1.30 pm accident.