Update as of 1:23 a.m. EDT: Four crew members aboard the plane that crashed into a Nairobi building earlier on Wednesday are confirmed dead, Associated Press reported, adding that the plane was carrying a cargo of Khat, a mild stimulant popular in the region.
Four people are feared dead after a cargo plane crashed into a building Wednesday morning in Nairobi’s Utawala neighborhood.
The Fokker 50 cargo plane, which was carrying four crew members, crashed into a commercial building shortly after taking off from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, or JKIA. One body has been recovered from the crash site, which lies 10 miles northwest of the airport, while a search mission is still underway, the Kenya Red Cross said in an announcement on Twitter. The plane was reportedly bound for Somalia’s capital city Mogadishu, about 736 miles northeast of Nairobi.
“The plane first hit an electric pole then crashed into a commercial building in Embakasi before bursting into flames,” Eric Keraithe, JKIA’s chief of security said, according to the Kenyan Post.
The Kenya Red Cross said that it has sent two ambulances to the crash site while a General Security Unit training school, which sits adjacent to the site, is reportedly assisting the rescue mission on the ground.
The Post also reported that a local highway has been closed temporarily until all rescue operations are completed. The number of casualties in the incident is yet to be confirmed, while The Star reported that the four crew members are feared to be dead.