VENTURES AFRICA – A commercial aircraft with 153 people on board crashed in a densely populated area of Lagos, Nigeria, on Sunday.
According to reports, the airplane, which was an Abuja to Lagos flight on Dana Air 997, crashed into a building in the residential suburb of Iju-Ishaga, Lagos. Witnesses confirmed seeing the plane strike a building and burst into flames.
The Dana 997 flight crashed into a two buildings and burst into flames literarily cratering into the apartment building with heavy casualties as a report. According to a rescue official, the number of the bodies being taken away had been people killed on the ground rather than passengers.
Thousands of people thronged to the crash site as fire-fighters tried to put out the smouldering flames of a jet engine amidst billows of smoke.
An Associated Press reporter also claimed to have seen parts of the plane’s seat signs scattered around.
According to the head of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Harold Demuren, the flight was heading from Lagos to Abuja, the capital. “I don’t believe there are any survivors,” he said.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had officials on ground helping with rescue activities.
Dana Air operates Boeing MD-83 planes to cities around Nigeria out of Murtala Muhammed Airport. Although, the last update on the website has nothing on the crash as at the time of this report.
There has been earlier reports of a similar Dana Air plane – possibly the same one – developing a technical problem and was forced to make an emergency landing in Lagos.
The incident brings to the forefront the perennial issue of safety in air travel, with the incident coming after another plane crash on Saturday night in Accra, Ghana, which saw a cargo plane, overshoot a runway and hit a passenger bus, killing at least 10 people.
The Allied Air cargo plane had departed from Lagos and was to land in Accra.
Lagos airport has been shut down, with passengers told to go home.
Unconfirmed news of a manifest, with names including that of Mr Levi Ajuonuma of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), has continued to spread within the country on social media platforms.
At the time of this report, rescue operations at the crash site were still underway.
Lagos is the largest city in Africa with a population of about 15 million. It is the economic powerhouse of Africa’s second largest economy housing its major business operations.