By KELVIN OSA- OKUNBOR

 


About two minutes to expected landing time at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos an MD 82 aircraft belonging to Dana Air, with about 153 passengers and crew members on board on Sunday afternoon crashed into a warehouse and a four flat building in Tolulope Street off Popoola Street in Iju Ishaga areas of Agege in Lagos.

The aircraft was reported to have lost control as it hovered in the air before it eventually crashed into a mango tree, killed a cow and made control flight into a residential building adjoining a warehouse. It burst  into flames a few minutes later.

According to eye witnesses, the aircraft came down about 3.45 pm. It lost control in the air, pulled through with high speed before it landed on the building.

The eye witnesses explained that it was the loud bang of the aircraft that drew attention to residents as those living around the building where it crashed  ran for dear lives scampering to pick a few belongs in the event that their building went up in flames.

They said that rescue did not come early as fire-fighting officials from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ( FAAN), and other agencies including NEMA, the Police Nigeria Air Force, did not arrive the scene until about an hour laying to rest the possibility of rescuing some of the victims alive.

About 5.00 pm when The Nation arrived the scene of the crash, hundreds of sympathizers thronged the roads leading to the crash site making it difficult for rescue officials to mobilise to the scene.

Amid the ensuing anxiety as residents struggled to ascertain the casualty levels, thick smoke emanating from the aircraft that burst into flames billowed to the skies, as huge balls of smoke enveloped the skyline.

About 6.00 pm, three helicopters hovered in the sky to ascertain the level of damage of the buildings as an helicopter belonging to the Nigeria Navy landed in one of the buildings to bring in rescue materials.

As hundreds of sympathizers thronged the crash scene, some of them scavenged the parts of the aircraft at the site, as they struggled with fire-fighting officials to put out the raging smoke.

Officials of the Lagos State Emergency agency were also on hand to provide help.

 

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