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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs