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Plane crashes into building in Nigeria

June 3, 2012

A plane has crashed in Lagos and local media are putting the death toll both among passengers and on ground at 147.
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2012 17:20
A passenger plane has crashed into a two-storey building in Nigeria’s densely populated Lagos city.

Local media put the toll at 147, with deaths both among passengers and on the ground.

Femi Oke-Osanyinpolu, Lagos state emergency state manager, said on Sunday that casualty numbers are unknown.

Harold Denuren, head of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, said the Dana Air flight was heading from Lagos to Abuja, the capital. “I don’t believe there are any survivors,” he said.

Lagos airport has been shut down and passengers awaiting further flights told to go home

Al Jazeera’s Yvonne Ndege, reporting from Abjua, said people on the ground in Lagos believe it may have hit a power line and crashed into a building. She said there are pictures on the internet of huge plumes of smoke across the Lagos skyline.

“NEMA (the National Emergency Management Agency) has been alerted to an air crash in the Ishaga area of Agege, Lagos,” NEMA spokesman Yushua Shuaib said.

Witnesses said they saw the plane strike a building and burst into flames.

The weather in Lagos on Sunday was clear and sunny.

Lagos’ international 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.

In August 2010, the US announced it had given Nigeria the FAA’s Category 1 status, its top safety rating that allows the nation’s domestic carriers to fly directly to the US.

The Nigerian government said it also now has full radar coverage of the entire nation. However, in a nation where the state-run electricity company is in tatters, state power and diesel generators sometimes both fail at airports, making radar screens go blank.
Source:http://aljazeera.net/english
Al Jazeera and agencies

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