Update 3: 'Only six persons survived Nigeria plane crash'

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Only six of the 20 passengers and crew aboard the local Associated Airlines' Embraer 120 plane that crashed in Nigeria's commercial city of Lagos on Thursday survived, according to Usman Muktar, a Commissioner with the country's Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB)

Mr. Muktar told journalists here that the six survivors have been taken to the hospital while rescue operations ended at 11.15 am local time, some one hour 45 minutes after the plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the local wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport.

AIB officials said the plane was carrying 20 people, including 13 passengers and seven crew members, when it crashed.

Though Mr. Muktar was silent on the fate of the remaining 14 people aboard the 30-seater plane, they are believed to have died.

Also aboard the plane were the remains of former Governor Olusegun Agagu of South-west Ondo State, which were being ferried to Akure, the state capital, for the burial ceremony.

The coffin containing the remains of the former Governor, who died last month, has been retrieved intact from the wreckage of the plane, according to Dr. Femi Osayintolu, General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA).

The programme and other memorabilia for the burial were seen scattered at the scene of the crash.

The cause of the crash is yet unknown, but investigators said they have recovered the Black box.

PANA reports that Thursday's crash was the worst air disaster in the country since the 3 June 2012 crash of a Dana Air plane on the outskirts of Lagos that left at least 150 dead.

Associated Airlines is owned by Associated Aviation, an airline firm based in Lagos.

The company, which was established in 1996, operates passenger and cargo services within Nigeria and West Africa.

From its base at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, the airline operates scheduled flights to key Nigerian cities, including the capital city of Abuja, with a fleet of seven aircraft, mostly the Brazilian-built Embrarer 120 planes.
-0- PANA SA/SEG 3Oct2013

03 october 2013 14:39:33




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