Helicopter Crash in Kenya Kills 4 Americans, Kenyan Pilot

Four Americans and a Kenyan pilot have died in a helicopter crash in northwestern Kenya.

The aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff Sunday.

The incident happened on the remote Central Island National Park on Lake Turkana.

Gilbert Kibe, director general of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, said in a statement that two helicopters had taken off from the island Sunday, but “unfortunately one of the helicopters … lost contact and crashed on the island.”

The identities of the passengers and the pilot have not been released, pending notification of their families.

UNESCO says Lake Turkana is the “most saline of Africa’s large lakes.” It described Turkana as ” . . .an outstanding laboratory for the study of plant and animal communities. . . The Obi Fora deposits, rich in mammalian, molluscan and other fossil remains, have contributed more to understanding paleo-environments than any other site on the continent.”

Last year, UNESCO placed Lake Turkana National Parks on the List of World Heritage In Danger because of the impact of a dam on the site. The committee expressed concern in a statement “about the changes affecting the hydrology of the Lake Turkana Basin, notably the disruptive effect of Ethiopia’s Gibe III dam on the flow and ecosystem” of the lake.

Source: Voice of America