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of Lagos Sunday air crash

| June 8, 2012 More



mourn victims
of Lagos Sunday air crash

loss of lives and property recorded at
the crash site were enough to make even the
stone-hearted weep uncontrollably



ABUJA (Xinhua)
Gnashing of teeth, biting of
innocent fingers, sorrow and tears were in full
glare on Sunday as Nigerians, especially families,
friends and associates of the dead failed to come
to terms with the latest development in their

Death had dealt a terrible blow
on citizens whose relatives and bread-winners
had died in two separate major incidents that
have now thrown the nation into undue mourning.

The black Sunday had began with
a loud explosion orchestrated by a suicide
bomber who plunged into a pentecostal church
during a morning mass in northeastern Bauchi
State, killing at least 12 people.

The suicide bomber was also
killed in the bomb attack.

Sympathy came from all six
geopolitical zones of the West African nation,
with each condemning the dastardly act believed to
have been perpetrated by some Islamic
fundamentalists who usually claim responsibility
for such deadly attacks in the northern part and
capital city of the country.

Many had already resigned to fate,
preparing to mourn their beloved, when the black
Sunday got darker and more gloomy as the news of a
commercial plane carrying over 150 passengers
crashed into a two-storey building in a densely
populated part of southwestern Lagos State.

Residents in the densely
populated area where the air mishap occurred
said a loud explosion had enveloped the area,
making everyone scamper for safety.

But within minutes, it dawned on
them that a fatal air crash had rendered some
residents homeless, others severely injured, and
many killed.

The plane, a Boeing, McDonell
Douglas (MD-83), with registration number 5N-RAM
and operated by Dana Airlines Limited crashed
barely five minutes to touchdown at the Murtala
Muhammed Airport, located in Lagos, Africa’s
most populous city, killing all 153 passengers
onboard, according to aviation authorities.

The crash, the most fatal in the
country in the last decade, killed about 40 more
believed to be residents of the two-storey
building housing six flats each, according to a
local Xinhua reporter who witnessed the incident.

Nigeria is seen as a nation prone
to crises, outbreaks and natural disasters due to
poor management qualities of its citizens, the
nation has not been in a more sombre mood as it is

The oil-rich nation is now thrown
into undue three days’ mourning of the dead in
the black Sunday incidents, especially the victims
of the ill-fated passenger plane. Moved by the
loss of citizens, President Goodluck Jonathan of
Nigeria had ordered that the country’s flag be
flown half-mast, while declaring the three- day
national mourning due to the heavy death toll
recorded in two unfortunate incidents in just one

Among victims of the plane crash
were students, captains of industries, security
chiefs, aviation workers, business magnates,
intending couples, a bevy of ladies who had just
served in a bridal train at a wedding ceremony the
previous Saturday as well as top citizens of the
country who boarded the ill-fated aircraft with
the hope of touching down the next 50 minutes.

But, sadly, the 50 minutes became

It never came and the air mishap
casualties were not fated to reach their

The loss of lives and property
recorded at the crash site were enough to make
even the stone-hearted weep uncontrollably.

“I join all Nigerians in
mourning all those who lost their lives in the
plane crash which has sadly plunged the nation
into further sorrow on a day when Nigerians were
already in grief over the loss of many other
innocent lives in the church bombing in northern
Bauchi State,” said the Nigerian president.

The black Sunday would linger in
the minds of the Nigerian people for long because
most of the families who lost their dear ones to
the crash will forever miss them, according to
Tunde Cole, who lost an uncle to the plane crash.

Saying that he last spoke with the
late uncle when he was about to board the
ill-fated aircraft in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital

At the crash site, the plane’s
wreckage and the badly burnt body parts of the
victims littered the scenes.

No survivors were expected from
such a crash, according to Samuel Mensah, a
Ghanaian who witnessed the disaster in his

He said “the head of the
plane crashed into the two-storey building while
the middle and tail entered the warehouse of a
publishing company in the area.”

Also speaking at the crash site,
governor of the southwestern Lagos State and
commercial hub of Nigeria, Babatunde Fashola
consoled the deceased’s family and prayed for
the repose of the souls of all that died in the

“Our condolence goes out to
the families of the bereaved. We condole with
the families of the pilot and his crew as well
as the management of Dana Airline.

“I also want to thank the
National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and
other rescue agencies for working hard since the
crash occurred.

“I want to use this
opportunity to admonish sympathizers to stay
away from the crash site and allow those on
rescue missions to do their work,” he said.

Aviation Minister of the West
African nation Stella Oduah also expressed sadness
when she visited the crash site.

“I am extremely saddened by
the news of the crash and I assure that
investigations are underway,” she said.

Another pain in the heart of the
bereaved is that most of them will be unable to
bury the dead, according to their religion or
cultural beliefs because almost all of the corpses
were burnt beyond recognition.

Dana Air is owned by Dana Group
which is a conglomerate controlled by an Indian

It has significant interests in
various sectors of the Nigerian economy.

The group is known as the major
distributor of Kia Motors in Nigeria and bottles
the Aqua Dana table water, also having about 10
other different companies operating in
electronics, agriculture, chemicals and other

The ill-fated Dana aircraft that
crashed on Sunday and identified as McDonell
Douglas (MD-83) was reportedly bought from Alaska
Airlines, an American regional airline, in
February 2009.

The plane was manufactured in 1983
and was initially used by the Alaska Airline for
close to 25 years, whereas an aircraft may no
longer be air worthy 30 years after it was
manufactured, according to aviation experts.

The crashed plane would have been
30 years old in 2013..






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Category: Bauchi State News

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