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Nigeria air crash search ends; death toll at 159

Last Updated: Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 09:17

Lagos: As the search for victims of an Indian-owned flight that crashed with 153 passengers and crew on board ended, Nigerian authorities on Wednesday reviewed the number of the dead to 159 both in the plane and on ground.

Members of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) declared the search over and referred the bereaved to some hospital mortuaries where they could identify the corpses of their family members, nationals or colleagues.

An Indian from Kerala, Rijo Eldos, was aboard the aircraft which crashed into a building in a highly populated area of South western state of Lagos on its way from the country`s capital city, Abuja.

Mahendra Singh Rathore, the co-pilot of the plane, was an American of Indian origin.

The owners of the aircraft, Dana air, also explained that the plane had no engine problem prior to the accident.

A spokesman for the company, Francis Ogboro, said its chief engineer was inside the plane and therefore could not have gone on a suicide mission with its workers on Sunday when the crash occurred.

"The plane showed no faults or signs of any problems on Sunday morning before the accident," Ogboro told reporters.

He tried to calm frayed nerves over a rumour making rounds that the plane had engine problems, saying that it was not the same aircraft people referred to especially on social media.

"It was not the same one that had emergency landing in May over hydraulic problem," he said.

Aviation authorities have suspended the licence of Dana Air after what they describe as the worst crash in the country’s history going by the number of the dead.


First Published: Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 08:59
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