NAIROBI, Kenya – A Kenyan military plane carrying four members of parliament and a provincial commissioner crashed Monday in northern Kenya, killing 14 people, a local official at the scene said.
The plane crashed into a hill near the town of Marsabit, 280 miles northeast of Nairobi, while carrying the leaders to a meeting on tribal tensions in the area, Marsabit District Commissioner Mutua Iringu told the Kenya Television Network during a live interview.
Only four of the 18 people on board were pulled out of the burning wreckage alive, he said.
"The fire was very intense and there is no way anyone else could have survived," he said.
A senior civil servant saw the provincial commissioner, Patrick Osare, with a leg injury at Marsabit District Hospital and added that one of the pilots lost both his legs in the crash. He asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The official said he did not have any information about the fate of the lawmakers, who he said included the assistant minister for internal security, Mirugi Kariuki, and the deputy leader of the opposition KANU political party, Bonaya Godana.
Godana is a former Cabinet minister who served as foreign affairs and agriculture minister, among other portfolios, between 1997 and 2002 under former President Daniel arap Moi's administration.
The Ministry of Defense issued a statement reporting that 17 people were on the Chinese-built Y-12 twin-engine cargo plane when it crashed, "including government officials, leaders and crew," but did not report any casualties.
"The government has dispatched a search and rescue team to support rescue operations which are in progress," the statement said.
A nurse, who did not give her name, confirmed to The Associated Press that four patients had arrived at the district hospital.
David Kimaiyo, the director of police operations, said police were flying from Nairobi to investigate a plane crash, but that he had no details.
President Mwai Kibaki issued a statement expressing "shock and concern" at the crash.