Kenya’s opposition ODM leader Raila Odinga survived a plane crash after a helicopter he was travelling in crashed at takeoff in Gem, Siaya County on Sunday.
The chopper had flown Raila from Kisumu to Gem in Siaya but crashed shortly after dropping him and his entourage of four people.
Confirming the incident after the crash, Raila’s spokesperson Dennis Onyango said the former Prime minister is safe and was not injured in the incident.
“The Helicopter, Bell 407, Registration 5Y-PSM had dropped Odinga at Kudho Primary School in Gem when it attempted to lift off to create space for other planes. Unfortunately, it crashed,” Onyango said in a statement.
“There were no fatalities as the pilot and four others who on board escaped with minor injuries. Odinga successfully proceeded with his scheduled activities with the President.” he noted.
Police in the county confirmed that the plane had substantive damage following the evening crash.
According to Siaya county police commander Michael Muchiri, the chopper had one passenger onboard and the pilot.
He said the passenger who was not immediately identified was taken to a local hospital for precautionary medical examination.
According to a police report on the incident, the pilot captain Julius Mwambanga of Peniel Air was taking off after dropping Raila who had accompanied president Uhuru in commissioning Wagai Akala road when the chopper crash landed.
“He was only five meters from the ground when the aircraft came down, and overturned on its left side” the report indicates.
According to the county police, the pilot was not injured but his sole passenger identified as Peter Mbeka was taken to hospital after he complained of chest pain.
The preliminary investigations report also notes that the tail rotor and the main rotor of the aircraft were damaged.