Several feared dead as KDF chopper crashes in Ole Tepes, Ngong

Miitary Chopper
KDF chopper. [Photo: Standard]

An unknown number of servicemen are feared dead following the crash of a military training helicopter early Thursday morning at Ole Tepes area in Ngong.

Kajiado West Deputy County Commissioner Morang’a Morekwa told said the crash happened at 8 am.

It is reported the aircraft had at least 20 people on board at the time it crashed.

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) in a statement said that the helicopter crashed while on a training drill. It caught fire and then burst into flames.

Rescue operations are underway as the exact number of those who are dead or injured remains uncertain.

The cause of the crash also remains unclear.

Kioko identified the model of the aircraft as the Mil Mi-17, which can carry 24 passengers and even small vehicles.

The Mi-17 is mostly used in military training operations due to its aggressiveness.

It has a 4,000kg internal payload capacity with an underslung load capacity of up to 3,000kgs.

The Mi-17 can climb at a rate of 8m/s. The maximum speed and cruise speed of the helicopter are 250km/h and 225km/h respectively.

The range of the helicopter is 465km and the service ceiling is 6,000m. The aircraft weighs around 7,489kgs and its maximum take-off weight is 13,000kgs.