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 Sunday, 26 January, 2003, 07:55 GMT
Kenyan crashed plane 'was too big'
Medical staff attend to Martha Koome, chair of Kenya's chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, who was injured in the crash
The crash killed three people and injured five
The plane that crashed in western Kenya on Friday - killing new labour minister Ahmed Khalif and two pilots - was too heavy, the Kenyan government says.

Four other government ministers and a member of parliament were injured in the accident in the western town of Busia.

Officials said the aircraft struck a pothole on the runway, hit a pylon and crashed into a nearby house.

Kenyan Transport Minister John Michuki says the Gulfstream I twin-propeller plane weighed 16 tonnes and was taking off from an airstrip designed for aircraft weighing less than 5.7 tonnes.

Prayers

The licence of the company that operated the aircraft has been suspended pending an investigation.

INJURED PASSENGERS
Minister for water Martha Karua
Tourism and Information Minister Raphael Tuju
Minister of State in the vice president's office Linah Jebii Kilimo
Assistant Minister for Constitutional Affairs Robinson Githae
George Khaniri, MP
Martha Koome, chair of Kenya's chapter of the International Federation of Lawyers
"That aircraft was too big for the airstrip," Mr Michuki said. "We will investigate why the plane was allowed to land there."

Mr Khalif and his colleagues had been visiting Busia as part of celebrations for the election victory late last year of the National Rainbow Coalition.

President Mwai Kibaki - who is himself in hospital for treatment relating to a car crash during the election campaign - has said the nation was united in prayers for the families of the victims.

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30 Dec 02 | Africa
06 Jan 03 | Africa
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