A MD-83 belonging to Nigeria’s carrier Dana Air conducting a domestic flight between Abuja and Lagos crashed Sunday afternoon while on approach to Lagos Murtala Mohammed International Airport. All 147 passengers and 6 crew on board the aircraft along with an as yet undetermined number of people on the ground were presumed dead. The crash took place in a densely populated of Lagos, the country’s largest city where about 15 million people live. According to various witnesses accounts, the plane crashed onto a 2-storied building after coming in very low with its engines screaming minutes before 4:00 pm local time. Citing Nigeria’s aviation minister, AFP reported a distress call had been issued by the aircraft’s pilot at about 3:43pm. The aircraft was at that time located 11 nautical miles inbound for Lagos airport before disappearing from air controller’s radar shortly thereafter. Dana Air, the carrier operating the doomed MD-83 was suspending all its flights scheduled for Monday June 4th 2012.
The crash site where charred debris of the MD-83 were visible through dense smoke appeared even more chaotic as soldiers attempted to disperse crowds of onlookers who had gathered amid the wreckage. This latest air disaster takes place less than 24 hours after a Allied Air Boeing 727 cargo that had departed Lagos on Saturday evening overshot the runway while landing at Accra’s Kotoko international airport in neighboring Ghana. The aircraft finally came to a full stop on a nearby highway, but only after striking a passing minivan killing 10 of its occupants. An additional 2 people were reported killed on the ground while the 4 crews on board the aircraft escaped unharmed.
Sources: AFP, aviation-safety database