Two hurt as Kenyan plane veers off runway


NAIROBI — An aircraft flying 55 people from Kenya's capital to tourist attraction Lamu island veered off the runway during takeoff, skidding into some trees and leaving two injured, authorities said Friday.

The plane, operated by domestic airline Silverstone Air, was to make a stop at port city Mombasa before heading to Lamu, home to a UNESCO world heritage site off Kenya's northern coast.

"This morning at around 9:00 am, a Fokker 50 aircraft... veered off the runway while departing from Wilson Airport, Nairobi. The aircraft had 55 souls on board, 50 passengers, 5 crew. Two passengers were slightly injured and are receiving appropriate medical attention," the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) said in a statement.

An AFP photographer on the scene at Wilson Airport saw emergency services surrounding the plane, which went through the fence and plowed on several dozen meters (yards) into the brush.

Silverstone Air, a company specialized in domestic fights, confirmed in a statement that its Fokker 50 plane had had an accident at Wilson Airport. Silverstone staff were working with the authorities to assess the situation.

KAA announced an enquiry.

Wilson Airport is a small facility south of Nairobi, mostly handling domestic flights to the coast and national parks. It is located about 15 kilometers (nine miles) from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the largest in Kenya. — AFP