News / Africa

    Nigerian Airline Defends Fleet Safety After Crash

    Francis Ogboro (L) and Suhail Farooqui, representatives of Dana Air, attend a news conference at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, June 6, 2012.
    Francis Ogboro (L) and Suhail Farooqui, representatives of Dana Air, attend a news conference at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, June 6, 2012.
    VOA News
    A Nigerian airline is defending the safety of its aircraft after one of its planes crashed on approach to Lagos, the country's largest city, killing all 153 people on board, including the airline's chief engineer.

    Francis Ogboro, an executive of Dana Airlines, told reporters Wednesday that the engineer would not have allowed the MD-83 to take off from Abuja Sunday if there had been a problem.  He said the planes are properly maintained and that "no airline crew would go on a suicide mission."  

    Most of the passengers were Nigerian, but the United States says nine Americans were on the plane.  In addition, citizens of Britain, Canada, China, France, India and Lebanon were reported to have been on board.  A spokesman for Lloyds of London, the insurer of Dana Airlines, said Wednesday there will be compensation for families of the victims.  

    Authorities also say at least six others on the ground were killed when the plane plowed into a Lagos residential neighborhood nine kilometers from the airport.  Several houses were damaged.

    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 dual engine trouble as he prepared to land.  The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is assisting in the investigation.

    Local news and bloggers reported Tuesday that the airline's senior managers of Indian nationality have fled the country as Nigerian aviation officials investigate the cause of the crash.  Leadership news alleged that the management knew the equipment on the plane was faulty.  It also said residents at the crash site have complained about an odor emanating from the wreckage and cited health concerns of those who inhaled it.

    The deadly crash is renewing concerns about aviation safety in Nigeria and the rest of West Africa.  Authorities say the airline's license to fly has been suspended indefinitely.

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

    Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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    Comments
         
    by: Benson Uwha from: Johannesburg S.A.
    June 10, 2012 3:47 PM
    The defense of Dana air is unintelligent. A proper investigation should be instituted to identify the cause of the crash. Reknown Aircrash investigators should be called very quickly to locate the reason for the crash.
    Surely that aircraft is not air worthy. Properly maintained aircraft engines do not fail or go down as did Dana plane in question. I do believe that someone fraudulently allowed this airplane to fly.
    This use to be the case until corrupt airworthiness officials were cleared out. But I am afraid they are back with their corrupt practices again

    by: Christo Nwagwu from: Winnipeg, Manitoba
    June 07, 2012 9:39 PM
    Response from some person calling himself Nigerian Airline staff with authority to speak on behalf of the airline is a joke. he nation had airline with large and functional fleet some years back, these airlines are history today, they're gone like the winds in a country with history of looting every public property on sight .with no questions asked. For the purpose of putting the facts in perspective, there's no such thing as Nigeria Airlines and such claim is pouring hot water in spilled milk .,

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