Safari plane crash kills two Germans in Kenya

NAIROBI Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:25am EDT

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NAIROBI (Reuters) - Two German tourists and two Kenyan pilots were killed when a plane carrying tourists crashed in Kenya's Maasai Mara game reserve, local police said on Wednesday.

Airstrip workers and locals rushed to the crash site and pulled survivors out of the mangled wreckage. There were 11 tourists on board the aircraft, all of them German.

Peterson Maelo, the Narok district police chief in the East African country, said a middle-aged man and an elderly woman were killed along with the two pilots.

"The twin-engine plane nose-dived about one kilometer (0.62 mile) from the air strip and landed in a marshland," Maelo told Reuters.

The nine survivors, he said, had been airlifted to the capital, Nairobi, and three were in serious condition.

Chimwaga Mongo, Narok South's district commissioner, said it appeared the plane failed to gain altitude before careering into the ground.

"Moments after the plane took off we realized that all was not well. Suddenly it came down crashing into a marshland," said John Kipetu, an employee at the Fairmont Mara Safari Club who witnessed the incident.

(Writing By Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Richard Lough and Mark Heinrich)

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