More details have emerged about the tragedy in Kaduna in which a military helicopter with seven people on board crashed on Saturday, August 29.
The Nigeria Air Force (NAF) aircraft, which was heading to Abuja, crashed 10 minutes after take-off in the morning.
According to The Nation, a military source disclosed:
“Being a military crash, the details will not be released until a technical appraisal is done. The families of those who died had been contacted.”
However, a witness who observed the development narrated:
“Just before the flight crashed into my neighbours’ houses, I noticed that the aircraft was making an unusual sound. So, I came out to see what exactly it was. Then, I saw the plane coming down, only for it to pick up again. But when it came down a second time, it could not go up again. The next thing I heard was a deafening explosion.
“Before I could say jack, it was in flame and the fire gutted my neighbours’ houses. But thank God for the timely intervention of the fire service.
“We thank God that our neighbours are safe. They said all the passengers on board died. It’s very unfortunate.”
Vanguard reports that as of Sunday morning, all movement into and outside the site was barred.
Air Commodore Dele Alonge later confirmed the incident in an official statement issued in Abuja:
“A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Dornier-228 aircraft, with registration NAF030, has crashed into a house at Ribadu Cantonment, Kaduna.
“Though no casualty was recorded on ground, there were no survivors among the passengers on board the aircraft.
“The aircraft was Abuja bound and had taken-off at about 6:45am from the Kaduna Military Airfield before the mishap.
“Bodies of the passengers have been recovered and fire fighters are already at the crash site to curtail fire from spreading to other buildings within the vicinity.”
Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar, the chief of the air staff, expressed his shock at the tragic incident and added that a board had been set up to investigate the cause of the crash.
“These are some of the hazards associated with flying. We have set up a board to immediately find out the immediate and remote causes of the accident . We will look at the report of that board to see the cause. It was a very tragic one . I have gone to condole the families, the pilots that were involved in the accident. I don’t want to pre-empt the findings of the board we set up to come up with its findings.”
The incident comes shortly after another helicopter crashed into the lagoon in the Oworonshoki area of Lagos just five minutes before landing. Four people died in the accident.