147 people feared dead in Nigerian plane crash

By M. Alex Johnson, msnbc.com

Nigeria’s aviation ministry said Sunday that 147 people were aboard a Dana Airlines passenger jet that crashed into a two-story building in Lagos, the country’s largest city. “I don’t believe there are any survivors,” said Harold Denuren, Nigeria’s director of aviation.

The flight originally was reported to have been carrying 153 people, but the Civial Aviation Authority said in a statement that 147 people were on board. It wasn’t known how many people may have been killed or hurt on the ground.

The plane was heading from Lagos to Abuja, the capital, when it went down about 3:30 p.m. local time (10:30 a.m. ET), shortly after takeoff, authorities said. It crashed into a building and broke into two before burning up, witnesses said.

Local reports indicated that at least three buildings were severely damaged, one of them a church. Nigerian Eye reported from the scene that bodies could be seen burning on the ground, while pictures on the Internet showed large plumes of smoke across the city.

Police said they had recovered the plane’s voice recorder. Al Jazeera reported from Abuja that witnesses said the plane may have hit a power line in clear and sunny weather.

The Daily Times of Nigeria quoted a senior official of Dana Airlines, whom it didn’t identify, as saying the plane had been undergoing repairs for several weeks.

“The station manager protested its use, but the Indian management insisted it should fly,” the official said, according to The Daily Times.

The crash came after 10 other people were killed when a Boeing 727 cargo plane flying from Lagos crashed Saturday in Accra, the capital of Ghana, and hit a bus, the Sunday Tribune of Nigeria reported.

The crew of four survived, authorities said.

A senior military officer told the Sunday Tribune that the bus was severely damaged, while the plane’s wings and tail broke off from its body.


Posted by on Jun 3 2012. Filed under Breaking News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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