Two Nigerian airlines crash, killing over 160 people
Frankie Edozien | , Editor in Chief of Africa Magazine | 6/5/2012, 3:10 p.m.
ACCRA, Ghana _ Two Nigerian Airlines crashed over the weekend resulting in over 160 deaths in the worst aviation disaster the country has seen in decades.
On Sunday a regional airline ferrying 153 passengers from Nigeria's capital Abuja into its commercial hub, Lagos, plunged into a residential area, taking off roofs on its way down.
Nigerian Aviation authorizes said no one board the Boeing MD83 aircraft survived. The cause for the DANA airlines flight was not immediately known but speculation was rife that its landing gear failed. The plane landed on its belly.
Three days of national mourning were declared by President Goodluck Jonathan who prayed, "that God Almighty will grant the families of the victims of the plane crash the courage and fortitude to bear their irreparable loss."
A statement from his office said he'd ordered a full investigation.
"I was just coming out of church around 3:30 p.m., when I heard a loud noise," said one witness, Tunji Dawodu. I thought it was an explosion." "Then there was a huge flame from the building where the plane has crashed into, " he told the AFP news agency.
Another witness told AFP that on aircrafts way down "it was waving, waving, waving." Yusuf Babatunde, 26, added: "The pilot was struggling to control it. It crashed -- it just started burning.
Passenger manifests showed revealed that infants and Chinese nationals were on board. The Chinese News Agency, Xinhua, said four citizens were killed. It is still unclear how many died on the ground.
At least 10 were pulled from one burning building during the inferno officials said.
Rescue and recovery efforts were hampered by power outages that bedevil the country of 160 million. Witnesses converged the area and attempted to salvage remains even before officials could take charge of the area.
Local media reports said Dana's Indian management had put the plane in the air despite concerns about its maintenance. Others reported a similar Dana flight in May made an emergency landing at the Lagos airport.
On Saturday a Nigerian cargo plane overshot the runaway at Accra's Kotoka International Airport, and slammed into a commuter bus resulting in the deaths of 10 people. The Allied Air cargo Boeing 747 was flying into Ghana from its base in Lagos.
On Saturday night, a Nigerian Boeing 727 cargo airliner crashed in Accra, the capital of Ghana, slamming into a bus and killing 10 people. The plane belonged to Lagos-based Allied Air Cargo.
Sunday was an extremely sad day for man. Just before the crash on Sunday, Nigerians were reeling from two church bombings in the northern part of the country, set off by the Islamists terror group Boko Haram.