October 29, 2019
By Bukola Adebayo, CNN
A passenger aircraft lost a wheel during takeoff on Monday morning forcing an emergency landing at Kenya’s Eldoret International Airport.
The aircraft, operated by domestic airline Silverstone Air, took off from the Lodwar airstrip in Kenya’s northwest and was heading to the capital Nairobi when the incident occurred Monday morning. The captain landed the aircraft at a nearby airport, the airline said.
“This was a precautionary action, and the aircraft landed safely,” the airline said in a statement.
Passengers were booked on another plane and flown to the capital.
A spokeswoman for the airline declined to comment on the number of passengers on board, saying that the airline was still investigating the incident.
Another Silverstone aircraft carrying 55 people skidded off the runway at a local airstrip in Nairobi and slammed into trees, leaving some of its passengers injured earlier in October, officials said.
Following Monday’s incident, many Kenyans expressed concerns about the safety of the company’s aircraft and said the regulatory body had neglected its duties.
Gilbert Kibe, director-general of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), said the agency is auditing the airline and accidents involving its planes to check the company’s compliance with its regulations.
“KCAA reassures the public that safety and security remain within the Kenyan airspace remains a paramount priority, and we encourage you to remain vigilant in reporting safety concerns,” Kibe said in a statement.
Kenya has a strong air safety record and achieved the 60 percent Effective Implementation (EI) score recommended for member states in the Global Aviation Safety Plan, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization in 2018.