Tuesday, May 24, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Briton, Nigerian die in Kaduna plane crash

A Beechcraft plane with registration number N364UZ, belonging to an oil company, Shoreline International, has crashed at Barkallau, near the National Open University in Kaduna today.

The incident, which occurred around 12 noon, claimed the lives of the two occupants - the pilot, a British national, and one Nigerian engineer.
The aircraft was said to be on test running after undergoing maintenance at Dornier Aviation Nigeria Limited (DANA) before it suddenly crashed few minutes after taking off from the premises of the servicing company.

The public relations manager of Dornier Aviation Company, Barshir Chedi, who confirmed the incident to journalists, said the two passengers on board the ill fated plane died, just as he said that the pilot and the engineer were on test flight after maintenance before they received the news of the crash.

He declined further comments on the accident, saying that the managing director of the company was in the proper position to do that.

However, some aircraft engineers who were at the scene of the incident faulted the maintenance procedure by Dornier Aviation Nigeria Limited, alleging that the routine service on the crashed plane was not properly handled. Though they didn’t want their names mentioned, they explained that the accident could not had occurred if proper maintenance was done.

An eye witness, Muhammadu Musa, whose farm the plane crashed on, narrated that he was in his farm when he suddenly heard the sound of the plane coming down before he ran for his life.

“I quickly rushed to the plane hitting the door with my hoe to force the door open before smoke started coming out and it later caught fire. I was still there helpless before some soldiers and officials of NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency) came, by then the smoke fire had increased,” Mr Musa said.

It took the intervention of the NEMA fire service officials to put out the fire before the burnt bodies of the two occupants were removed from the plane wreckage. Their bodies were later taken to the Nigerian Air Force Hospital in Kaduna.

The director general of NEMA, Mohammed Sani Sidi, who rushed to the accident spot, expressed sadness over the crash. He described it as unfortunate and and prayed for the repose of the souls of the casualties.

At the scene of the incident for rescue operation were officials of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Road Safety officials, police and military personnel, and members of the Nigerian Red Cross Society.

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