The wreckage of a small passenger plane missing in Kenya since Tuesday has been spotted in the Aberdares forest in the centre of the country, senior transport department official Paul Maringa has said.

The fate of the eight passengers and two pilots is still unclear.

“A recovery team, including medics has been directed there, and the Red Cross is on board too,” Mr Maringa is quoted by Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper as saying.

The wreckage was “reasonably” damaged, and had been spotted “11,900ft up a 400m cliff face in a dense area” after rescue operations resumed this morning, Mr Maringa added.

The plane, operated by East African Safari Air Express, flew out of the western town of Kitale late on Tuesday afternoon.

It disappeared off the radar screens at its final destination, the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the capital, Nairobi, around 80 minutes later, the owners, Fly Sax said in a statement.