Kenyan student killed in freak helicopter crash

Wed May 14, 2008 5:02pm EDT
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - A Kenyan exchange student killed on the ground in a freak Canadian helicopter crash may never have heard the doomed aircraft as it fell out of the sky.

Police on Wednesday identified Isaiah Otieno as one of four people killed on Tuesday in the accident in Cranbrook, British Columbia, where the 20-year-old business student was attending college.

Witnesses told local media that Otieno had gone out for a walk and was listening to music with earphones or headphones, so he may not have heard the stricken aircraft coming down on a busy street until it was too late.

The cause of the accident was not known, and Transportation Safety Board investigators were removing the badly burned wreckage for further examination. Cranbrook is located along the Rocky Mountains about 50 km (31 miles) from the U.S. border.

The other victims were all aboard the small helicopter and included two employees of BC Hydro, the provincial electricity utility, which has temporarily suspended the use of helicopters to inspect its power lines.

(Reporting Allan Dowd, Editing Peter Galloway)