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Investigations into recent UPDF chopper crash in advance stages – Brig. Karemire

FILE PHOTO: UPDF Jet Ranger AF302

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda People’s Defence Forces- UPDF has revealed that investigations into the January 28, 2020 chopper crash are in advanced stages.

UPDF Jet Ranger AF302 crashed in Butambala at killing its two occupants who were identified as Maj Naomi Karungi and Cadet pilot Benon Wakola. The duo was reportedly flying back to Entebbe after an air force training exercise in Mubende district.

Brig Richard Karemire, also Defence and Army spokesperson said investigations led by Lt Gen James Mugira were fast materializing and would be complete within the set up period.

Although Brig Karemire declined to reveal the time frame given to Lt Gen Mugira and his team to complete investigations, a source said it was resolved that investigators should table a report within six weeks.

Lt Gen Mugira is the commander of UPDF’s business arm known as National Enterprise Corporation – NEC. The Army’s commercial wing invests in agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, services, industry projects and companies.

Lt Gen Mugira’s team probing the chopper crash consists of nine other senior and junior officers with a wealth of expertise in air force. Brig Karemire dispelled earlier reports that deputy Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Lt Gen Wilson Mbadi had been appointed to head chopper crash investigations.

UPDF explained that Maj Karungi was the most experienced female pilot and was at the time of her demise supervising several Cadet pilots including Wokola. An eye witnesses, Baker Kiyonga, told Uganda Radio Network- URN the chopper started moving in zigzag motion as it approached a hill in Butambala.

Kiyonga added that they later heard a huge blast but they did not respond swiftly since it was raining heavily. Maj Karungi hailed from Kiruhura district while Cadet Wakola was a born of Mbale district.

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