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Published On: Fri, Oct 4th, 2013

CRASH: Aviation Minister In Hot Soup, Summon to Abuja

Plane crash scene

LAGOS OCTOBER 4TH (URHOBOTODAY)-There was tension in the Ministry of Aviation on Thursday following the crash of the Embraer 120 aircraft operated by Associated Airlines which was to convey the corpse of former Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olesegun Agagu, from Lagos to Akure, Ondo.
While ministry officials were seen in clusters speaking in hush tones, the Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, who invited journalists for a briefing on the development, cancelled the meeting immediately she was summoned by the President.

After the journalists had settled down at the ministry’s conference room for the briefing, Oduah and her aides came in to announce that the President had invited the minister to the presidential villa.
“Please you will have to excuse me for I have to leave right now to the (Presidential) villa. I just received a call to come there and I have to do so now. Please bear with me,” Oduah told journalists.
Meanwhile, Princess Stella Oduah has assured Nigerians that investigation into the cause of crash of Associated Airline’s Embraer 120 aircraft, conveying the remains of former Ondo State governor, Chief Olusegun Agagu, for burial in Akure will be thorough.
In a statement released on Thursday, the minister said “while it is too early to determine the cause of the accident, we urge the public to be patient while the investigation progresses. I assure the public that the investigation will be thorough and that our airspace remains safe and secure.”
The aircraft, with registration number 5N-BIT operated on a private charter flight from Lagos to Akure by the airline, crashed shortly after take-off from the Domestic Wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
20 persons, including crew were said to be onboard at departure.
The statement further said “The Control Tower immediately activated the Crash Alarm of the airport as the first step of the Emergency Response Procedure. The First Responders immediately proceeded to the crash site. The FAAN Fire Service Department, ambulances and other relevant emergency apparatus successfully extinguished the fire within 2 minutes despite the surging crowd.”
“The rescue effort secured 6 survivors and 14 fatalities. The 6 survivors were promptly transported to the hospital and are receiving appropriate medical care.”
According to Oduah, “Rescue Coordination and Trauma Centers have been set up at the Annex of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to provide necessary information and support.”
“The Authorities are contacting families of the victims of this unfortunate incident, and upon completion, will make information about the identities of the victims public,” she said.
“The Federal Ministry of Aviation deeply commiserates with the families of the victims. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time. “
“The Black Box of the aircraft has been located and is in the custody of the Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau who, with the cooperation of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and other relevant agencies have commenced full investigation into the cause of the accident.”

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