Kenya’s Defence Chief, 9 other top military officers die in air crash


Kenya’s defense chief, along with nine other high-ranking officers, tragically lost their lives on Thursday, April 18, in a military helicopter crash in a remote part of the country, President William Ruto confirmed.

Addressing reporters, Ruto expressed deep sorrow over the incident, stating, “Today at 2:20 pm, our nation suffered a tragic air accident… I am deeply saddened to announce the passing of General Francis Omondi Ogolla.” He further revealed that nine other brave military personnel on board perished in the crash, while two survived.

Ruto disclosed that the Kenya Air Force has dispatched an investigation team to determine the cause of the crash, which occurred in Elgeyo Marakwet county, approximately 400 kilometers (250 miles) northwest of Nairobi, the capital city.

The helicopter crashed shortly after departing from Chesegon, where General Ogolla and his delegation had been visiting a school. Ruto described General Ogolla as a distinguished four-star general who fell while dutifully serving the country. He mourned the loss, stating, “Our motherland has lost one of her most valiant generals, gallant officers, servicemen, and women.”

In honor of the fallen officers, Ruto declared three days of mourning starting from Friday, with official flags to be flown at half-mast.

Earlier reports from a police officer revealed that the helicopter, carrying over 10 senior commanders including General Ogolla, caught fire after crashing. They were on a security mission in the North Rift region, where Kenya Defence Forces soldiers are deployed as part of Operation Maliza Uhalifu (Operation End Crime in Swahili).

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