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

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech More

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?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs