Families of helicopter crash victims demand justice

Written By: Serfine Achieng/ Fiona Njoroge
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Lake Nakuru rescue Operation(file). The owner of the plane is yet to fulfill his promise.(file/photo)
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Family members of the five victims of helicopter that plunged into Lake Nakuru two years ago, are demanding justice for the deceased.

The aggrieved families claim they have lived in agony for two years waiting for compensation from the owners of the helicopter, who had initially agreed to an out of court settlement. The company is being accused of failure to honor its side of the bargain.

On October 21st 2017, the country received the shocking news that a helicopter had plunged into Lake Nakuru a few minutes after takeoff. The Pilot Apollo Malowa, Sam Gitau, Anthony Kipyegon, John Njuguna Mapozi and Veronica Muthoni Gachuki perished in the crash.

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The subsequent days spelt agony for families of the victims as they waited for the bodies of their loved ones to be retrieved from the water mass.

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Veronica Muthoni’s body, for instance, was recovered from the waters on 16th November, more than three weeks after the tragedy occurred. It has been 2 years since she died in the ill-fated chopper at her home in Kabatini Village, Bahati Sub-County.

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Her father David Gachuki Mwangi, stares at his daughters final resting place still trying to make sense of his loss. He recalls their last conversation they had a day before the tragedy happened. She was supposed to travel from Nakuru Town to their rural home but called her father to say she had a function to attend. Little did he know that that was the last time he would hear from her.

“Life without my daughter, who had started developing interest in politics, has been difficult. I long for a day when all the affected families will settle for a joint venue where annual memorial services for all the five victims will be held, instead of doing it separately at the shores of Lake Nakuru.” said Mwangi

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Their quest for justice has also proven to be a difficult one. The families of the victims had agreed on an out of court settlement over compensation, but the owner of the plane is yet to fulfill his promise.

They have since resorted to take the case back to court and are calling on the government to intervene and ensure justice is served to the departed.

 

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