The Sun News

NCAA launches probe as 53 escape death on Aero Contractors flight

By Louis Ibah     

About 53 passengers on board an Aero Contractors flight escaped death on Tuesday as heavy smoke suddenly engulfed the cabin of the Lagos bound aircraft midway.
The incident, it was learnt, started about 40 minutes into the flight, which departed the Port Harcourt International Airport at about 4.08pm and continued till the aircraft landed at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, which was another 20 minutes. There were  52 adults and one infant on board.  One of the passengers who identified himself as Nicholas told aviation correspondents that the smoke almost chocked all on board and many thought the aircraft would crash due to the incident.
Nicholas explained that the smoke filled the plane about 20 minutes before landing at the Lagos Airport, adding that there was massive panic even among the cabin crew. He explained that most passengers resorted to prayers.
Experts told Daily Sun that the incident, believed to have started at the cargo compartment of the aircraft, could have been caused by so many factors, among them the age of the aircraft and some electrical faults. Aero has been in a state of financial distress in recent years prompting the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to take over its management. It currently operates two aircraft in its fleet. Although the pilots of the flight successfully landed the aircraft at the Lagos airport without any loss of life, both the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the management of the airline have launched an investigation to unravel the cause of the fire. Spokesman for NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, told Daily Sun that the regulatory body had commenced an investigation into the incident. “We got the report and we are investigating it,” Adurogboye said on phone.

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