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Kenya: At least four dead in Masai Mara tourist plane crash

Two German tourists and two pilots were killed when their plane crashed in Kenya's Masai Mara national park, one of Africa's most famous safari destinations.

masai mara plane crash 08-22-2012Enlarge
Thousands of wildebeest wind through the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, Aug. 3, 2002. More than a million wildebeest annually cross the border between Tanzania and Kenya. The Masai Mara is one of Africa's main safari destinations for tourists. (Pedro Ugarte/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

At least four people are dead after their plane crashed in Kenya's famous Masai Mara national park, a top safari destination in Africa.

Two German tourists and two pilots were killed when their airplane crashed shortly after takeoff from the Ngerende airstrip, near the  Fairmont Mara Safari Club, around midday today, Agence France-Presse reported. The pilots were believed to be Kenyan.

Three other people were seriously injured in the crash and have been taken to Nairobi for treatment, AFP said.

In the hours after the crash, passenger details were still unclear. AFP said the aircraft was carrying a total of five Germans, four Americans and two Czechs. Reuters reported that 11 tourists were on the plane, all of them German.

More from GlobalPost: The Masai Mara's dwindling wildlife

Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper said the plane was a light aircraft owned by Mombasa Air Safari. 

Small planes are commonly used to transport tourists from Kenya's capital Nairobi to the Mara, to avoid the bad roads.

The Masai Mara (also spelled "Maasai Mara") draws tens of thousands of tourists every year to see the spectacular wildebeest migration.

An investigation is underway into the crash, with a government team traveling to the site, the Daily Nation reported.

More from GlobalPost: Tanzania: Highway threatens Serengeti migration

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/kenya/120822/kenya-masai-mara-plane-crash-tourists-killed