News / Africa

    Nigerian Airline Grounded Following Deadly Crash

    Family members look at a photograph published in a newspaper of Shehu Sahad, who died in a plane crash, as they wait to identified his body in Lagos, Nigeria, June 5, 2012.Family members look at a photograph published in a newspaper of Shehu Sahad, who died in a plane crash, as they wait to identified his body in Lagos, Nigeria, June 5, 2012.
    x
    Family members look at a photograph published in a newspaper of Shehu Sahad, who died in a plane crash, as they wait to identified his body in Lagos, Nigeria, June 5, 2012.
    Family members look at a photograph published in a newspaper of Shehu Sahad, who died in a plane crash, as they wait to identified his body in Lagos, Nigeria, June 5, 2012.
    VOA News
    The deadly crash of a Nigerian passenger plane is renewing concerns about aviation safety in the country and the rest of West Africa.

    Authorities say at least 157 people, including four on the ground, were killed when the Dana Airlines flight plowed into a Lagos residential neighborhood on Sunday.

    Nigeria's Aviation Ministry said Tuesday that it had suspended the license of Dana airlines as it investigates the cause of Sunday's crash. Search crews have recovered the plane's flight data and cockpit voice recorders which may shed light on the cause of the crash. Aviation officials say the pilot reported engine trouble as he approached the Lagos airport.

    William Voss, the head of the U.S.-based Flight Safety Foundation, says aviation safety, in general, is on a "multi-decade trend toward improvement."  But, in a VOA interview, he said there is still a "substantial gap" in airline safety between developed and emerging nations.

    He says there is a "tendency" in many African countries not to have strong implementation of international aviation standards. However, he says Nigeria had actually improved its air safety record after a string of crashes.

    "They had a series of tragedies in 2005 and 2006 which really drove the top leadership in their country to action.  They did all the right things and actually enjoyed a spectacular safety record over the past six years until just this past weekend," he said.

    A 2005 crash of a Nigerian Bellview Airlines jet in Lagos left 117 people dead. Later that year, a Nigerian Sololiso flight crashed in Port Harcourt, killing 106 people including at least 50 school children.

    A pair of crashes the following year killed a total of more than 100 people.

    Voss says the likelihood of a plane crash is higher in Africa than in most regions of the world. "In Africa, it's a little difficult to quantify because there are so few flights there, the numbers jump up and down a lot.  But, you're anywhere from seven, ten times more likely to be involved in an accident flying in African than you are in North America or the rest of the world," he said.

    Ibrahim Mamman, a pilot with the privately owned IRS airlines in Nigeria, tells VOA that aircraft maintenance has been an ongoing issue. "The issue there is the engineers need to be trained. They need training and training and training, training all the time," he said.

    Torrential rain and strong winds slowed recovery efforts at the site of the Dana Airlines crash on Tuesday.

    Search crews looking for victims had been using cranes to remove the plane's twisted wreckage and debris from charred buildings.

    Anxious family members of victims crowed into a Lagos hospital, on Tuesday, where they awaited word on the identities of victims.

    Mallam Sair Said says he is grieving the loss of his brother, who was on the flight. "Since the incident there is no day, no moment I don't feel him around me. Anything I do, I feel as if I were going to share it with him but unfortunately I'll never share anything with him again," he said.

    Aviation officials say an undetermined number of foreigners were on the flight, including Chinese nationals, U.S. citizens and at least one French citizen.

    Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan visited the crash site on Monday and declared three days of official mourning.

    Dana Airlines is a domestic air carrier that operates a fleet of Boeing MD-83 aircraft for the hourlong flight from Abuja to Lagos.

    You May Like

    US Watching as North Korea Holds Biggest Political Meeting in 36 Years

    Workers' Party Congress set for Friday; Washington anticipating possibility of another missile launch or nuclear test as top officials gather

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Yuyu Wahyudi from: West of Java Indonesia
    June 06, 2012 5:39 AM
    Scream ! We want every kind of general transportation have to fix before ongoing. About this incident, did crew ( echnique division) not examine this plane till this happen going on? Or The owner aviation (Dana air) careless to maintain or even that this plane was old fashion? Who will responsible for this happen?

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora