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AFRICA > Two German tourists, two pilots killed in Kenya air crash

NAIROBI - Agence France-Presse

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Two German tourists and two pilots were killed when their airplane crashed Wednesday in Kenya's renowned Maasai Mara national park, with at least three other tourists badly injured, police said.

"Four people died on the spot, while three others were seriously wounded," said local police chief Peterson Maelo. "Those injured have been taken to Nairobi for treatment." A total of five Germans, four Americans and two Czechs were reported on board the aircraft.

Catherine Ochola from Flying Doctors Service -- an air ambulance service said three "more critical patients" had been flown to Nairobi. A second air ambulance airplane rescued other passengers, and the rest by Kenya's air force.

The pilots' nationalities were not known.

Michael Koikai, a warden with Kenya Wildlife Service, said that the plane had crashed shortly after takeoff from the Ngerende airstrip around midday.

The Maasai Mara, some 250 kilometres (155 miles) southwest of the capital Nairobi, is one of Kenya's most popular safari destinations for its currently ongoing annual migration of wildebeest, attracting tens of thousands of tourists to the park.

Many choose to fly into hotels or luxury tented camps landing on simple dirt airstrips, rather than brave the long drive on often poor roads from Nairobi.

August/22/2012

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