Nairobi: Kenya's military chief, General Francis Ogolla, died in a helicopter crash in the country's western part on Thursday, Kenyan President William Ruto said in a televised address, CNN reported.

Ruto said that General Francis Ogolla and nine other members of the military were killed in a helicopter crash. He further added that two people survived the crash. The helicopter crashed shortly after take-off on Thursday afternoon local time.

"I am deeply saddened to announce the passing on of General Francis Omondi Ogolla, the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces," he said. He further stated that a team of investigators has been sent to the site of the crash in Elgeyo Marakwet County to determine the cause of the accident.

William Ruto said General Ogolla departed Nairobi on Thursday to visit troops in the North Rift region of Kenya and to inspect ongoing school renovations, according to CNN report.

After the helicopter crash, the Kenyan President convened an urgent meeting of the country's National Security Council in Nairobi, according to presidential spokesperson Hussein Mohamed.

Ruto said, "For me, as the Commander in Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, it is a tragic moment for the Kenya Defence Forces fraternity and it is a most unfortunate day for the nation at large."

"Our motherland has lost one of her most valiant generals. We have also lost gallant officers, servicemen, and women," he added.

He announced that Kenya will observe three days of mourning beginning on Friday. Notably, General Ogolla is the first Kenyan military chief to die in active service, CNN reported, citing state broadcaster Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).

General Ogolla joined the Kenyan Defence Forces in 1984 and he became the 2nd Lieutenant in 1985 before being posted to the Kenya Air Force, according to Kenya's Ministry of Defence website.

This report is auto-generated from a syndicated feed