On Thursday, April 18, 2024, tragedy struck as a Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) helicopter crashed and caught fire in the Sindar area of Elgeyo Marakwet, resulting in five confirmed fatalities and three individuals sustaining injuries. The incident occurred in the Cheptulel area of West Pokot.

Reports indicate that the helicopter was in the process of taking off from Cheptulel Boys Secondary School. Further details reveal that the aircraft was carrying several officials from the Kenya Defence Forces.

The passengers aboard the helicopter had just concluded a meeting convened to address the security situation in the West Pokot region, which saw the attendance of several high-ranking leaders. Among the unconfirmed reports is the presence of Chief of Defence Forces Francis Ogolla on the aircraft.

Images circulating depict the crashed helicopter in Sindar engulfed in flames, particularly around the engine area. Access to the crash site has been restricted to residents as KDF and other relevant authorities conduct investigations.

This meeting aligns with President William Ruto’s commitment to finding a sustainable solution to the longstanding issue of banditry in the region, emphasizing the need for long-term stability.

Witnesses report that survivors of the tragic accident are being airlifted to Nairobi for medical treatment, highlighting the urgency and severity of the situation.

Senior military officials are reportedly gathered at State House, Nairobi, to deliver an official statement regarding the ongoing developments surrounding the incident. Authorities have cautioned against the spread of misinformation and fake news, considering the involvement of officials presumed to hold high-ranking positions within the KDF.