Ruto’s condolence message to families of KDF officers killed in chopper crash
By Peter Ochieng
President William Samoei Ruto on Wednesday mourned Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officers killed in a chopper crash in Lamu County.
An unspecified number of soldiers died following a helicopter crash during a patrol mission in Lamu County, along the northern coast on Monday night, according to a statement released by KDF on Tuesday morning.
The soldiers were patrolling Boni Forest in Lamu, before the accident.
“The crew and other military personnel on board were part of an air surveillance squadron intensifying day and night patrols and surveillance for the ongoing Operation Amani Boni,” KDF said.
“The leadership and entire KDF fraternity condole with the families of the crew,” added the statement.
KDF did not disclose the number of officers who died in the crash, but a Huey helicopter is reportedly known to have a maximum capacity of up to 13 people.
In his message, president William Ruto said it is heart-breaking to have lost the soldiers.
“Our condolences to the families and friends on the heart-breaking loss of our heroes in the Lamu helicopter crash,” he wrote in a statement on X.
“We honour their bravery in defending and protecting Kenya’s sovereignty. Our prayers are with the Kenya Defence Forces and all those that have been affected by the tragedy.”
Defence Cabinet Secretary (CS) Aden Duale said, “Our hearts and prayers stretch out to the families and friends in the Lamu helicopter crash. This unfortunate fatality has caused unprecedented losses over the gains made in the on-going military operation. To the fallen heroes, today our national flag flies with the last breath of each of you. Soldier on, Patriots!”
Kenyan security forces have been combing the Boni forest in a bid to flush out al-Shabaab militants.
KDF said a board of inquiry was dispatched to the scene to establish the cause of the crash.