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Lagos plane crash: Nigeria mourns victims

Published: June 4, 2012 | 7:53 am
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Three days of mourning have begun in Nigeria for more than 150 people killed when their plane crashed in the main city of Lagos.

The Boeing MD-83 ploughed into a printing works and residential buildings before bursting into flames.

Rescue workers have been at the scene through the night.

Everyone on board the aircraft died. There were also casualties on the ground, but it is not yet known how many people were killed.

The airliner, operated by Lagos-based company Dana Air, had flown in from the capital, Abuja, when it crashed and burst into flames.

It came down in the Iju area, just north of the airport.

Casualties on the ground may have been minimised because it was Sunday and the buildings were likely to have been empty.

In a statement, President Goodluck Jonathan said he had ordered the “fullest possible” investigation into the crash.

On 11 May, a similar Dana Air plane – possibly the same one – developed a technical problem and was forced to make an emergency landing in Lagos, says the BBC’s Will Ross in Lagos.

Nigeria, like many African countries, has a poor air safety record, though some efforts have been made to improve it since a spate of airline disasters in 2005.

Questions are now being asked about the general safety of aviation in Nigeria, as this is the fourth crash in the last decade in which more than 100 people were killed, our correspondent says.

The website of the Indian-owned Dana Air says it operates Boeing MD-83 planes to cities around Nigeria out of Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos.

The airport is a major hub for West Africa and saw 2.3 million passengers pass through it in 2009, according to the most recent statistics provided by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.

BBC

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