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

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 Million by January

update US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide 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.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid