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Two perish in a plane crash at Vuria in Taita

Two people died after a Cessna plane they were flying in crashed against Vuria Hill in Wundanyi Sub-county Monday night.

The victims, a man and woman, are said to have been a trainer and a student who were flying to Mombasa when the accident occurred. Efforts to establish their identities are ongoing.

Confirming the incident, County Police Commander Patrick Okeri said that the accident occurred at a rocky section of the towering cliff near some traditional caves.

He added that the disaster scene was already secured as the local administration awaited the arrival of air-disaster specialists to collect evidence and establish what could have caused the crash.

“We found two bodies but a search is going on to find out if there could have been others that might have been thrown out by the impact,” he said.

He further added that the police were also trying to establish the owner of the plane. There are speculations that the plane is one of those used for training aviation learners.

When the crash was reported, police, villagers and other well-wishers braved the freezing temperatures of the hill to start the rescue and retrieval operations. The teams spent the better part of Monday night scaling the impenetrable bush to climb up the steep hill to access the crash site.

Official reports say that the crash occurred at 8.pm. The plane, a fixed-wing, aircraft registration number 5Y-CFE Cessna 172 crashed on the west side of Vuria hills in an area marked by dense bush and rocky outcrops.

Vuria Hill is the highest point in the Coast region at 2208 meters above sea level.  The hill is characterized by thick fog and sharp drop in temperatures especially at night.

The probe into the crash is largely expected to revolve around the decision by the ill-fated pilot to fly over the perilous zone in darkness.

The Monday crash is the third plane crash to be reported in the region in the last three years. In 2018, a fixed-wing military plane crashed at Kamangombe Kungu village in Wundanyi. Two people on board were injured, while in January this year, a KDF aircraft crashed in Tsavo and killed four officers on board.

By Wagema Mwangi

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