InformAfrica — Dana Air, whose plane crashed in Nigeria’s former capital, Lagos State, killing 153 on board including over 60 people on the ground, has denied faulty plane allegations against the company, saying its own chief engineer died on the flight, according to news report by the Associated Press.
The news report also mentioned one Francis Ogboro, an executive who is said to oversee Dana Air operations, who told journalists the MD-83 plane that crash landed on Sunday underwent regular checks like the others the company owns – which he routinely flies.
“The chief engineer certainly would not have allowed that aircraft to take off if there was a problem”, Ogboro said. “No airline crew would go on a suicide mission,” according to AP reports.
India’s Zee News reported that Dana Air, who many Nigerians believe is owned and operated by Indians is actually not an Indian company according to Tony Usidamen, communications manager of Dana group.
“The Boeing 803 carrier that crashed on June 03 in Lagos, Nigeria is not an Indian company and the only connection with India is its managing director, Jacky Hathiramani, Tony Usidamen told news agency over the phone.
Nigeria’s Aviation Minister Stella Oduah told reporters on Tuesday that the airline has been suspended indefinitely for operational safety reasons pending the outcome of investigations into the crash.
Dana Airlines Limited (Dana Air) is a member of Dana Group of Companies Plc.
The cause of the crash on a clear sunny afternoon remains unknown, and is pending investigations. However, the flight’s captain is said to have radioed Lagos as the aircraft approached and declared an emergency, saying both of the MD-83’s engines had failed, Aviation Minister Stella Oduah said Wednesday.
Local newspapers said on Monday that several high-ranking military and government officials and central bank bureaucrats were on board the plane, which was traveling from capital Abuja to Lagos, a trip of some 50 minutes. Also among the passengers were a group of wedding guests.
Nigerian authorities have already collected the flight voice and data recorders from the airplane and plan to send them to the U.S. for analysis. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board also sent an investigator to assist Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Board, which probes airplane crashes.
In a previous report, a staff of Dana Airlines anonymously confirmed in a video interview that the ill-fated Dana Air flight 0992, MC Donnell Douglas (MD 83) was faulty shortly after it left Lagos and stopped over in Calabar. Click here to watch the video interview.