Francis Ogolla's remains and of nine KDF officers airlifted to Nairobi

The bodies of the 10 victims of the Kenya Defence Forces helicopter accident arrived in Nairobi Thursday night.

President William Ruto said the officers including Chief of Defence Forces Francis Ogolla died in a tragic air accident at Sindar area, Kaben location, Tot division, in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

President William Ruto confirmed the crash saying two military officials survived the accident and are receiving treatment in Nairobi.

The accident happened at around 2.20pm, he said.

The nine officers who perished in the crash alongside the CDF are Brig Swaleh Saidi, Col Duncan Keitany, Lt Col David Sawe,  Major George Benson Magondu (who was also the pilot), Capt Sorah Mohamed, Capt Hillary Litali,  Senior Sergeant John Kinywa Mureithi, ergent Cliffonce Omondi and Sergent Rose Nyawira.

Following Ogolla's death, Ruto announced a three-day mourning period.

"In honour of the life and the distinguished military career of the fallen General, who lost his life not just while in office but in active military duty, the nation will observe a period of three days of mourning commencing tomorrow the 19th of April, 2024," the President said in a televised address to the nation at State House, Nairobi.

The President said during the period of national mourning, the Kenyan flag and that of the Kenya Defence Forces, the East African Community and flags of all formations of the military shall fly at half mast in Kenya and Kenyan missions abroad.

Ruto said that following the crash, Kenya Air Force constituted and dispatched an air investigations team to establish the cause of the air crash.

He said the CDF was on a trip to visit troops deployed in the North Rift under Operation Maliza Uhalifu and to inspect the ongoing school renovation works in five schools.

The President said Ogolla was to inspect Chesitet Primary School, Cheptulel Boys High School, Chepoton Primary School, Ksaa Primary School and Sablimoi Primary School.

"As part of his working tour, the CDF had been briefed on the security situation by a multi-agency team stationed at Chesitetin Baringo County, after which he proceeded to the Kainuk Forward Operating Base in Turkana County, where he addressed troops, commending them for their resilience and operational successes," Ruto said.

Ogolla and his entourage departed from Kainuk to Chesegon, West Pokot County, where he launched the rehabilitation of Cheptulel Boys High School.