• Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

‘Engine went quiet suddenly’ – Rudisha narrates how he narrowly escaped death


Dec 12, 2022
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800-meter men’s world record holder David Rudisha has escaped unhurt after being involved in an aircraft accident in Loitoktok, Kajiado county.

Rudisha was among five people aboard the ill-fated plane that crashed in the Imbirikana area in Kajiado on Saturday, December 10, 2022.

World 800m record holder said the plane took off well after attending an event at Kimana Wildlife Sanctuary in Kajiado South.

Rudisha said the plane’s engine stalled about seven to eight after they took off from the airstrip in Kimana.

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“All was well close to seven or eight minutes into the flight when the engine of the plane suddenly went quiet,” Rudisha was quoted as saying by Nation.

The Olympic champion explained that the pilot did all he could do to navigate the plane after the engine stalled.

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Rudisha revealed that the plane went into a spin before landing upside down after one of its wings hit a tree as the pilot was navigating it without any power from the engine which had stalled.

A wreckage of the plane that David Rudisha was traveling on. PHOTO/ Courtesy.

“He saw some clear space where he tried to land the plane but one of its wings hit a tree as the plane started to spin before landing on the rocky field,” Rudisha said.

“It was a scary episode where you hold your heart in your hand as you pray to God. The pilot did an incredible job to keep the plane afloat and stable for long,” he added.

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Rudisha further thanked God that everyone onboard escaped the accident alive.

“We thank God we all came out alive with some soft tissue injuries that were treated before all were discharged save for one,” he said.

Kenya Masters Athletics chairman Stephen Ole Marai, who got injured on his right ribs, had to be transferred to Nairobi West Hospital from Makindu for specialised treatment.

Kenya Civil Aviation

Rudisha had graced the 5th edition of the Maasai Olympics held at Mbirikani before the aircraft 5Y-BGJ crash-landed at the Ilchalai area within Mbirikani in what is said to have been a mechanical hitch.

In a statement, Big Life foundation who are among the Maasai Olympics sponsors, said Kenya Civil Aviation will investigate the accident.

“Shortly after take off from an airstrip where the Maasai Olympics were being held today, a light aircraft carrying David Rudisha, the 800m world record holder and a number of people connected to today’s event was forced to make an emergency landing.

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“One of the passengers was injured and is being treated at hospital. The others including Rudisha who is the patron of the Maasai Olympics suffered no significant physical injuries. As is a norm following any crash involving an aircraft, Kenya Civil Aviation will investigate.

“Until they have completed their report, it is not appropriate to comment further. The best wishes of Big Life and all involved in the Maasai Olympics are with the injured passenger for a speedy recovery,” the statement read in part.

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