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Flight student and instructor killed in mid-air collision over Nairobi

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A student pilot and instructor died on Tuesday when their aircraft collided with a passenger plane carrying 44 people over Nairobi, police said.

The passenger plane, from local airline Safarilink, bound for the coastal resort town of Diani, had just taken off when it “experienced a loud bang”, Safarilink said in a statement.

The Kenyan National Disaster Operation Centre says the plane caught fire during takeoff from Wilson Airport, near the Nairobi National Park around 10:30 am Tuesday.

It was able to turn back and land at Nairobi’s Wilson Airport. There were no casualties aboard, the airline said.

A police report said the Safarilink aircraft, a Dash 8, collided with a single-engine Cessna 172 operated by 99 Flying School with two people on board, who were in a training session.

Photos of the crash site published by Kenyan media showed a small smashed-up plane lying in the tall grass of Nairobi National Park.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority says investigations are underway to establish the cause of the accident.

(With input from agencies)

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