A potential plane crash in Nigeria was averted on Friday saving the lives of more than 100 people on board.
According to SaharaReprters, an Arik Air aircraft carrying over 100 passengers lost one of its two engines mid-air.
It was learnt that the aircraft, a Boeing 737 with the registration number 5N-MJD departed from Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, for Jos when the pilot discovered that the plane had lost one of its engines during the flight.
SaharaReporters reports that a source close to the airline said the aircraft was already 60 miles away from Lagos before the incident occurred.
Immediately after the pilot discovered the problem, he contacted the Lagos control tower, which granted him emergency landing status.
Passengers panicked when they were informed that the aircraft would return to Lagos.
Upon landing in Lagos, it was gathered that the aircraft could not taxi out of the runway and it took the intervention of the Airport Rescue and Fire-Fighting Services (ARFFS), a department in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), to tow the aircraft to the hajj and cargo terminal area of the airport in order for the passengers to disembark from the aircraft.
“The incident occurred at noon on Friday. The aircraft had departed Lagos for Jos, but barely a few minutes into the journey, the pilot radioed the Lagos control tower that it needed to return to base," a source from the airline told SaharaReporters.
“When the control tower heard this, they approved the pilot for emergency landing, which he did successfully. The aircraft had to be towed out of the runway by the ARFFS because it could not move again.”
A source in the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was yet to report the incident to the bureau for further investigation.
“As an investigator, I can tell you that I am not aware of this development. AIB should be the one to decide any occurrence if it feels that the industry can gain any safety value from it," the source said.
“There had been complaints that the NCAA does not notify us at times when there is an incident. It is by law that we should be notified in case of any incident. The AIB Commissioner is empowered by law to investigate any occurrence in the sector,” he explained.
Similarly, a source in the NCAA said that the regulatory body was yet to be informed about the incident, stressing that it was a reportable issue.
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