Two employees attached to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) have died after an airplane crashed on takeoff from the Nanyuki Civil Airport in Laikipia County on Thursday.

According to a statement issued by KWS, the pilot and passenger who work are KWS staff members were aboard the two-seater Husky aircraft registration 5Y-KWL when it crashed.

The service said the aircraft, which was under the National Air Support Department, had just completed a routine air patrol at the Solio Rhino Sanctuary and headed for Meru National Park.

Rescue operations at the site were led by officers from KWS and Mountain Rescue with the cause of the air crash yet to be established as the aviation authorities launch investigations.