UPDF Chopper Crash : Death Toll Rises To 7


generic geneva; font-size: small;”>This brings to seven the number of dead bodies recovered by rescue teams since Tuesday.

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medicine geneva;”>Kenya media houses are reporting that the bodies would be flown to Nairobi today.

UPDF publicist Col. Felix Kulayigye was not readily available for comment.

The Ministry of Defence on Tuesday issued a statement, saying 3 Helicopters that were travelling to Somalia through Kenya were involved an accident on the evening of August 12.

The State Minister for Defence Gen. Jeje Odong said on the morning of Sunday 12th, 04 Helicopters, one Utility and 03 combat, left for Somalia for AMISOM duty.

The route was Soroti – Eldoret – Nanyuki – Garisa, Wajir then Baidoa.

While the utility helicopter made it to Garisa, the other three did not.

As it has turned out, one of them made an emergency landing in the Mountains and sent a distress call to Nairobi between 7:00 and 8:00p.m. on Sunday evening.

The other two that went missing have now been found.

The deployment of these aircrafts followed the UN Resolution 2036 that expanded the mission of AMISOM.

The UN and AU asked Uganda to deploy Air Assets to support the mission in combat and casualty evacuation mainly in Sector A.

Given the tremendous achievements registered by AMISOM, it was only logical that the government of Uganda obliged, according to Jeje Odong.

“Preparation for the assets lasted for more than three months. They were inspected by the UNSOA Airforce component and found to be airworthy,” said Odong.

“The crew underwent UN training and they all passed the competence tests. Our Airforce personnel worked with their Kenyan colleagues to plan the routing and logistics within Kenya,” he added.

“Thus, the route approved was Soroti, Eldoret, Nanyuki, Garisa, Wajir and then Baidoa.The Kenya Military put all their personnel and assets at our disposal as soon as they received the distress call on Sunday evening,” confirmed Odong.

He maintained that indeed the pilot and crew of the helicopter that landed in Kenya Mountains were rescued and were safe in Nairobi.

Another crew has been evacuated to Nanyuki.

“We want to express our appreciation to the Kenya Military and entire Leadership for their quick response and commitment to the search and rescue mission. We are making efforts to reach the families of those that are still missing as our hearts are with them,” said Odong.

“We want to be as factual and as sensitive as possible so we appeal for calm as we continue to search for our comrades. His Excellency the president and Command-In-Chief has set up a Board of Inquiry led by Gen Salim Saleh to investigate this unfortunate incident. We pledge to keep the country abreast of the development as we get them,” said Odong.


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