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Nigeria Passenger Airplane Crash in Lagos Kills All 153 Onboard

June 4, 2012

June 4 (Bloomberg) — A Dana Airlines Ltd. passenger plane carrying 153 people crashed in a neighborhood of Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos, killing everybody on board, aviation and police officials said.

Search and rescue teams were on site after the Boeing Co. MD 83 aircraft crashed yesterday in the district of Agege as it approached the airport for landing, said Tunji Oketunbi, a spokesman for the Nigerian Aviation Ministry’s Accident Investigation Bureau. There were no survivors from the flight, Lagos police spokesman Joseph Jaiyoba said.

“There are crowds all over the place and it’s a bit chaotic,” Oketunbi said. No casuality figures from people on the ground were immediately available and authorities were unable to control a crowd of thousands at the site, the Associated Press reported.

It was Nigeria’s worst air disaster since an October 2006 jet crash in Abuja in which more than 100 people died. President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday declared three days of national mourning and ordered a full investigation, according to an e- mailed statement from his office.

The plane hit at least two large apartment buildings and a printing press and a lack of water made it hard to put out the flames, the AP said.

The carrier, owned by Dana Group, has been operating since November 2008 in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and the continent’s top oil producer. Dana Airlines runs 27 daily flights across Nigeria, according to a company press statement in December. Two telephone calls to Dana’s Lagos office seeking comment on the crash weren’t answered.

 

‘Profound Condolences’

 

Boeing released a statement extending “profound condolences to the family and friends of those lost in the Dana Airlines crash” and said the Chicago-based company “stands ready to provide technical assistance” in the investigation.

Africa had the highest regional airline accident rate in the world in 2010, accounting for 17 percent of cases, despite having the lowest global traffic at 3 percent, according to the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization. In Nigeria, 12.5 million passengers were flown by domestic and international carriers in 2009, according to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.

In a separate incident, a cargo plane traveling from Lagos overshot the runway on June 2 when it landed in Ghana’s capital, Accra, killing 10 people after it collided with a minibus, according to the country’s airports management company.

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