ABUJA: Over 153 people were feared dead when a passenger plane tragically crashed into a residential building shortly after takeoff in Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos on Sunday.
The plane carrying 153 passengers and crewmembers had taken off from Lagos but was attempting to return to the airport after the pilot noticed a glitch with the aircraft.
The aircraft belonging to Dana Air crashed into a building and caught fire immediately, sending billows of thick black smoke into the air at the Iju neighbourhood where it went down.
Mr Harold Demureen, head of the oil rich African country’s civil aviation authority confirmed the crash and said he believed there were little chances of finding any survivors in the horrific tragedy.
Besides the 153 passengers and crew on the plane, residents of the house may add to the number of persons killed or injured in the crash.
As plumes of smoke emerged fro the crash site, several people rushed to the area to see what had happened.
An eyewitness told PTI he does not believe any of the passengers would have survived the crash that happened near a bus stop in the Ifako local government area of Lagos state.
Emergency services, including fire fighters, also rushed to the area as a thick fire engulfed the site of the accident.
A report in Thisday newspaper said the plane had taken off shortly before the crash.
The aircraft had a full load of fuel for its hour-long flight to capital Abuja, which led to a massive conflagration and is sure to cause a high casualty figure.
The paper quoted its sources as saying that the pilot had informed the control tower that he needed to return to the airport after noticing something was wrong with his aircraft during taking off.
But, he couldn’t avert the tragedy as the plane went down even as he was trying to return to the airport.
The actual number of the dead was not clear immediately, more so because the tragedy occurred in a residential area.
Nigeria had witnessed a number of plane crashes in 2005 and 2006 that led to stricter controls in the aviation sector.