Revealed: locals did not help KDF chopper victim over Covid-19 fears

More details are coming out on the final moments of a tragic incident that saw a Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) helicopter crash at Kanyonga in Kithyoko, Masinga Sub-county on Monday morning where two people died.

It has now emerged that one of the victims, who are yet to be named by the military, may have been alive in the moments after the military chopper crashed but did not get much needed help from locals due to coronavirus fears.

An eyewitness, Ms Ann Kaluki, told the Nation that she was going about her business on her farm when she saw a plane that was flying too low.

She then turned to her friend and told her that the plane looked like it was going to crash on them so they decided to run.

“I saw a plane falling towards us…my screams attracted a big crowd,” said Ms Kaluki.

She said that the helicopter fell on nearby trees, raising clouds of dust before it crashed.


She noted that one pilot was still alive and was asking for help. However, because locals are afraid of Covid-19 and assume he would infect them, he did not get much needed assistance.

She said that a group of young men came running to the scene and asked them why they had refused to rescue him since he was alive.

“Those young men came and found him still strapped by his seat belt, but speculation on coronavirus and fear of the plane bursting to flames made them fear,” she added.

Another eyewitness, a young man, said that he was on his way home when they saw the helicopter nosedive but a tree caught its fall.


He said they rushed to the scene and found one person raising his hand, but says they could not assist as they had no idea how as they lacked first aid knowledge.

Another local, a farmer, echoed his sentiments.

“We as residents have no idea on how to rescue on such an accident…We just stood there fearing he could be infected with Covid-19,” he said.

The scene was later visited by security officials and it was established that a helicopter Reg AU003-539 belonging to the Kenyan army crashed at around 1100hrs.

Machakos County commander Karanja Muiruri said that the incident was reported by the assistant chief Kithyoko Sub-location, Mr Daniel Muthoka.

“It had two souls on board (senior military officers of the rank of Major) both of whom died on the spot. SCPC and SCCIO Masinga at the scene while CPC and CCIO on the way to the scene,” read a police report.

He applauded the response by the Kenyan army, stating that they came in record time and evacuated the bodies.

“This was a training flight. On board were two pilots, who have since been evacuated from the crash site,” KDF said in a statement yesterday.

The chopper was one of six aircrafts acquired in January from the US.

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