Newsletter subscribe

Featured, Local, Movie News

St. Louis Filmmakers Injured in Nairobi Plane Crash, In Stable Condition

August 1, 2009 /  by  
 

give-a-damn-plane-crash-miracle-dan-rob

Hear from Rob, after the plane crash Hear from Tim, after the plane crash Hear from Dan, after the plane crash

 
nairobi-plane-crash-st-louis-filmmakers-give-a-damnAs many of you know, the Give a Damn? guys are close, personal friends of ours at ReviewSTL.

It was announced this morning that two of the four St. Louis filmmakers, that were traveling to Africa to film their documentary “Give a Damn?,” were involved in a plane crash that took place over Nairobi. Miraculously, the two of them were only injured, and are both said to be in stable condition.

Our condolences go out to the family of Frank, the pilot of the plane. His wife and 4 children, as well as the rest of his family, are in our prayers. This accident has been truly horrific, and we know that he will be missed by many.

Please keep everyone in your prayers. We will keep you posted as we learn more information.

** PLEASE DONATE **





HELP THE FAMILIES OF THE PILOT AND FLIGHT ENGINEER, EMERGENCY COSTS, AND CREW TO CONTINUE FIGHTING POVERTY FILMMAKING

 

Video from the crash scene:

From Rob, one of the survivors, on Twitter:

“Dan and i just survived a plane crash. Heading to the hospital. I cant say anymore”
about 7 hours ago from txt

“Dan and i are at the hospital. I have just burns and cuts. Dan may have broken his collar bone. He is having lower back pain.”
about 7 hours ago from txt

“Google Narobi plane crash. CNN wants an interview. The pilot died, i got free and then went back and pulled out dan and tried to get the”…

…”Co-pilot, he was upside down, and my arm caught on fire right as i got his seat belt off. Someone pulled me out. Plane blew up 5 min later”
about 3 hours ago from txt

From Doug Parris, Dan’s Father, on Twitter:

“Dan and Rob are still being checked by Doctors so far nothing serious. David and Tim were not in plane & are fine. Pray for Dan and Rob full & fast recovery. Pilot died in #plane #crash. 1 airline employee critical”
about 1 hour ago from web

“Thank God for this #miracle of the #Giveadamn #documentary team surviving the #plane #crash.”
about 1 hour ago from web

A Note From Dan Parris’ Father, one of the injured plane crash survivors:

Miracle – Give A Damn Team Survives Plane Crash in Africa
August 1, 2009, 11:17 am

Dan and Rob were filming from a plane today over the Kibera slum outside of Nairobi Kenya. The plane crashed. The pilot was killed and an airline employee is in critical condition. Dan and Rob are still in the hospital being checked. David and Tim were not in the plane and they are fine. Rob has burns, cuts, and other pains, but he is in pretty good shape. Dan was in worse shape, but so far they haven’t found anything serious. Still checking some pains. Please thank God for this miracle and pray for their fast and full recovery and for God’s will in all this. This has been very traumatic for them and us. Updates will be posted on twitter.

Thanks for your prayers!

Doug Parris

(Dan’s father)

[email protected]

For more information on Give a Damn? visit www.giveadamndoc.com.


From Capital News, UK:

Four injured as light aircraft crashes in Nairobi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 1 – A light aircraft crashed into Nairobi’s Nyayo High Rise Estate on Saturday afternoon with four people on board, according to Assistant Police in Charge of Operations Wilfred Mbithi.

He said the Cessna 206 came down at about 2.30pm local time and crashed just in front of a three storey flat.

“There were four people in the aircraft; they were rushed to different hospitals. Upon the crash people ran to the scene and put out the fire. The cause of the crash is not known but investigations are going on,” he said.

Two American photojournalists working for the ‘Give a Damn International’ a humanitarian organization were admitted to the Nairobi Hospital and are being treated for burns.

A man working with the organisation told Capital News that the two were in stable condition.

The pilot and the engineer were admitted to the Armed Forces Memorial Hospital with one of them said to be critically injured.

Godfrey Mchanji was one of the first people to arrive at the scene. He lives in flat where the plane crashed. He said: “There was a man who had jumped out of the plane, the other three were inside. One of them had serious burns and he was in bad condition. The other walked to my car. I took them to two different hospitals.”

Rose Mueni a resident in Kibera’s Line Saba told Capital News that she saw the plane moments before it crashed.

“I heard a loud noise while I was in my kiosk. I looked up and saw a plane that was flying low. I realised there was problem because the doors of the plane were open and I could see people trying to jump out. The plane got lower, and as it went further I couldn’t see it anymore. Suddenly there was a huge fire. That’s when I ran there with other people,” she said.

Area residents put out the fire with soil. A fire brigade truck belonging to the city council was stoned by High Rise residents who said its crew took too long to respond to the inferno.

The accident scene was cordoned off by police officers in an operation led by the Nairobi Provincial Commissioner, Njoroge Ndirangu.

The plane’s wreckage littered the estate. No injuries, save for the craft’s occupants, were reported.


From The Standard:

Pilot killed, three injured in city estate plane crash

By Ramadhan Rajab

nairobi-plane-crash-kibera-slums-give-a-damnOne person died while three others escaped with serious injuries after their plane crashed into a flat in Nairobi’s Highrise estate.

The four-seater plane burst into flames on impact. On board were journalists shooting a documentary over the Kibera slums when the accident happened.

“It is still too early to establish what may have happened,” Mr Wilfred Mbithi, head of police operations in Nairobi, said at the scene. The aircraft belonged to African Inland Missions and it was headed to Wilson Airport.

GSU officers had to be deployed to the scene to control a rowdy crowd milling around the scene.

Good Samaritans pulled out the victims from the wreckage as others tried to put out the fire. The fire brigade arrived in time to put out the fire. Witnesses said the plane was flying low. “I was in a pub when I heard an unfamiliar sound, just like that produced by a motorbike, then a loud bang,” Mr Fredrick Owino said.

Luckily, nobody on the ground was injured. But fire had started to consume part of Block “B” of the flats before residents contained it.

Occupants of the house where the plane had crashed are said to have fled upon hearing a loud bang.

Nairobi Provincial Police Officer Njue Njagi later confirmed to the Standard on Sunday the pilot of the ill-fated plane succumbed to injuries. Two casualties were rushed to Nairobi Hospital while the other two, who had sustained serious injuries, were rushed to the Armed Forces Memorial Hospital, adjacent the scene.

Police picked up tapes and cameras from the scene that were being used by the journalists believed to have been preparing a documentary about the Kibera slums.

The accident comes barely a week after aviation experts voiced concern over erecting structures on the flight path.


From The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation:

Four injured in plane mishap

Four people were seriously injured Saturday afternoon when a light Aircraft crushed into a residential building in the densely populated Nairobi’s Nyayo Highrise, three kilometers from Wilson Airport.

The plane, a Cessna 206 light aircraft belonging to African Inland Air Service exploded into flames 20 metres near the Kibera Slums Chief’s Camp leaving the four occupants with severe burns.

The plane developed problems while airborne, knocked down an electricity post before crashing into the flat, damaging part of the building.

Eyewitnesses said the plane was preparing to land at the Wilson before it crash-landed.

Members of the public who rushed to the scene managed to pull out the pilot and three other people as they frantically poured water and sand on the plane in a bid to to put out the fire.

However confusion reigned as to who was in charge of the rescue efforts as members of public, police and other rescuers all attempted to do their bit in rescuing the victims.

The four were rushed to Nairobi Hospital for treatment.

The four were said to have been taking aerial photographs of Kibera Slums, the largest informal settlement in Kenya.

A contingent of General Service Unit, regular and administration police were deployed to the scene to manage the crowds and secure the scene.

Nairobi’s new PC Njoroge Ndirangu who visited the scene termed the incident as unfortunate and appealed for calm.

He asked residents living near the accident scene in Nyayo Highrise and Kibera estates to give experts time to investigate the cause of the accident.

He also called for revitalization of all district disaster management committees to enhance disaster management efforts in the city.

He commended members of public, KPA firefighters, St. John’s Ambulance, AMREF and administration and regular police for their quick response saying that the situation could have been worse without such efforts.

The cause of the accident could not be immediately established.


From KSDK:

Two local humanitarians hurt in Nairobi plane crash

KSDK – Two St. Louis area men on a humanitarian mission were hurt in a plane crash in Nairobi. Around 2:30 p.m. Kenyan time the plane crashed into an electrical pole, hit a highrise building, then smashed into a road. The plane caught fire.

Dan Parris of Chesterfield, 25 and Rob Lehr of Ballwin, 26 were hurt in the crash. Lehr managed to get free of the wreckage first, then help Parris, and the flight engineer. Parris and Lehr were rushed to Nairobi hospital with injuries. The flight engineer was also rushed to the hospital with potentially fatal injuries. Lehr has cuts and bruises from the crash. Lehr also sustained serve burns while pulling an unconscious Parris from the wreckage and freeing the flight engineer from his seat belt. Parris is under going tests with a presumed broken collar bone and potentially broken hip.

The men are filming a documentary through a humanitarian group called “Give A Damn International.” The filmmakers and their families are using Twitter accounts to update their conditions. You can read it by clicking on the following link, www.twitter.com/giveadamndoc.

ksdk


From China View:

One dead as light plane crashes in Kenya

NAIROBI, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) — One person died on Saturday when a light aircraft crashed in Nairobi’s residential estate, injuring three others on board.

According to eyewitnesses, the Cessna 206 light aircraft belonging to African Inland Air Service exploded into flames 20 meters near High rise residential estate, leaving three others with severe burns.

The three injured were rushed to hospital as the police secured the area to prevent the public from tampering with the scene before any investigations were done.

Josephat Kariuki, an area resident, told Xinhua that the plane developed problems while airborne, knocked down an electricity post before crashing into the flat, damaging part of the building.

Kariuki who witnessed the incident said the plane was preparing to land at the Wilson Airport, one of the busiest airports in Eastand Central Africa, before it crash-landed.

Though the destination of the plane and the exact cause of the crash could not be established immediately, occupants of the flat the aircraft crashed into said the impact of the crash shattered the windows, sending everyone into profound shock.

“All over sudden the lights went dim, a loud blast followed, then the sky was immediately covered in smoke. One person died while three others were rushed to Moi Forces Memorial Hospital,” Kariuki said.

Other eyewitnesses said the plane lost control hitting electrical power lines. It then bumped into a four-storey flat, sending it into flames before crashing on the open grounds.

“One passenger was badly burnt with a deep cut in the head and was in pain, while the other two had chest pains and burns on most of the lower part of the body,” said Margaret Karanja, one of the first residents who rushed to the scene.

She said the plane smoldered, sending thick smoke into the air and in houses, and chocking rescuers who were not deterred from rescuing survivors.

Members of the public who rushed to the scene managed to pull out the pilot and three other people as they frantically poured water and sand on the plane in a bid to put out the fire.

The white-bodied plane with blue stripped wings was reduced to wreckage.


From NTV:

One person killed in freak plane crash

One person has been confirmed killed and three others are nursing serious injuries after a light aircraft they were flying in ploughed into a housing estate in Nairobi. The plane was headed for the Wilson Airport, when it rapidly descended and crashed into the city’s Highrise estate. NTV’s Dennis Onsarigo reports on yet another air disaster in Kenya’s airspace.


From Sunday Nation:

Plane crashes at Nairobi’s Highrise estate, one dead

nairobi-plane-crash-give-a-damn-rob-dan

 

One person died on Saturday when a light aircraft crashed in Nairobi’s Highrise estate, off Mbagathi way and injuring two on board.

According to an eye witnesses, the plane lost control hitting electrical power lines. It then bumped into a four-storey flat sending it into flames before crashing on the open grounds.

“The lights went dim, a loud blast followed then the sky was immediately covered in smoke,” said Ephraim Mugambi who was amongst the first villagers to arrive at the scene.

The plane smouldered sending thick smoke into the air and in houses chocking rescuers who were not deterred from rescuing survivors.

The white bodied plane with blue stripped wings was reduced to wreckage, which turned out to be a gem to the youth who fought over the debris.

Though the destination of the plane and exact cause of the crash could not be established immediately, occupants of the flat the craft crashed into said the impact of the crash shattered the windows sending everyone into profound shock.

Rogers Aura, an area resident witnessed what he believes was a five minute incident. He helped ferry the survivors to a nearby vehicle, which took them to hospital.

“One passenger was badly burnt with a deep cut in the head and was in pain, while the other two had chest pains and burns on most of the lower part of the body,” said Aura while pointing at a pair of jeans lying on the ground that was partially burned and is believed to have been worn by one of the passengers.

The three injuries were rushed to hospital as the police secured the area to prevent the public from tampering with the scene before any investigations had been done.


From the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

Two St. Louis County men injured in Kenya plane crash

kenya-plane-crash-rob-leher-dan-parrisTwo members of a documentary film crew from St. Louis County survived a fatal plane crash Saturday near a high-rise apartment building in Nairobi, Kenya.

Dan Parris, 25, of Manchester, and Rob Lehr, 26, of Ballwin, were in Kenya filming a documentary called “Give A Damn” about poverty in Africa.

They were taken to the Nairobi Hospital, where they were treated for burns and other moderate injuries, the Standard newspaper of Nairobi said. The pilot was killed.

Two other members of the film crew were not on board when the Cessna 206 came down about 2:30 p.m. local time. The plane’s engineer was admitted to the Armed Forces Memorial Hospital with serious injuries, the Standard said.

Messages appeared on the film team’s Twitter page just after the crash. They appeared to have been posted by Lehr.

“The pilot died, I got free and then went back and pulled out Dan and tried to get the co-pilot, he was upside down, and my arm caught on fire right as I got his seat belt off. Someone pulled me out. Plane blew up five minutes later,” the messages said.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

Brothers David Peterka, 22, of Manchester, and Tim Peterka, 30, of Kirkwood, were also in Africa working on the project.

Doug Parris, father of Dan Parris, learned of the crash when Lehr called from a cell phone early Saturday morning. Dan Parris suffered a broken collarbone. Doctors are still trying to find the source of other pain.

“They both are really banged up and hurt,” Doug Parris said. “It’s been a really traumatic day.”

The Peterka brothers volunteered to miss the flight because the plane had room for only two passengers, said Kellee Sikes, a spokeswoman for the film project. Doug Parris said the crew had not yet decided if they would continue the project. He added: “My son wants to stay.”


From CNN:

2 U.S. filmmakers injured in Kenyan plane crash

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) — Two U.S. filmmakers were injured Saturday when their small plane crashed into a three-story residential building in downtown Nairobi on Saturday.

kenya-plane-crash-cnn-rob-leher-dan-parrisDan Parris, 25, and Rob Lehr, 26, both from St. Louis, Missouri, were shooting an independent documentary on poverty in Africa.

Both men were hospitalized and expected to survive, according to David Peterka, who was part of the film crew, but was not aboard the plane. He said that all four aboard the plane were Americans.

A flight engineer, whose name was not released, was critically injured and was in a coma, Peterka said. The pilot, whose name has not yet been released, was killed in the crash.

The crew had been in the east African nation for four days and was shooting video of Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa.

The plane was headed to nearby Wilson Airport, where most light aircraft land in the Kenyan capital.

“The pilot had warned that he was going to hover and go slow,” Peterka said. “They were surprised when they went to about 50 feet off the ground — and then they hit electrical lines and the plane flipped into the building.”

Just before the plane crashed, the listening devices went off and they could not communicate with the pilot, Peterka said.

Peterka said Lehr, who was ejected because the doors were open for filming, ran back in to rescue the others. Parris crawled out and Lehr, with the help of bystanders, pulled the pilot and the engineer out as the plane burst into flames, Peterka said.

“Local residents were using water, dirt to put the fire out” before the fire department arrived, Peterka said.

“Before the plane crashed, witnesses said it was flying unusually low,” said Francis Mwaka, a Kenyan federal communications official.

The four-seater plane was owned by African Inland Missions company.

No one on the ground was injured, Mwaka said. The crash is under investigation.

 

give-a-damn-nairobi-plane-crash