A Nigeria plane crash has killed 16 people. The small plane crashed in an open field shortly after departing from Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
Officials said the plane was chartered to fly 13 passengers from Lagos to Ondo. Seven crew members were also on the plane.
Rescue crews pulled six survivors from the wreckage. Two of the survivors died shortly after arriving at the hospital. Four others remain hospitalized. Their current conditions are unknown.
The damage suggests the nose hit the ground first, as the entire front portion of the plane was destroyed. The plane crashed less than 100 feet from storage tanks containing jet fuel.
As reported by USA Today, the plane was owned by Nigeria Associated Airline. The passengers’ identities have not been released. However, the plane was reportedly carrying the remains of Ondo state Governor Olusegun Agagu. The passengers were likely members of his family.
The plane’s pilot recognized an issue with engine shortly after takeoff. He was attempting to return to the airport when he crashed. Although it is not confirmed, some officials have suggested complete engine failure.
As reported by Reuters, the plane’s engine was manufactured by Pratt & Whitney Canada, which is owned by United Technologies Corporation. The Embraer 120 plane was over 23 years old. Experts with Embraer have offered to assist Nigerian authorities.
Investigators are currently sifting through the wreckage to determine exactly what caused the Nigeria plane crash. The black box was found intact and will be analyzed as well.
Airport engineer Rasheed Olajide witnessed the crash. He said the pilot maneuvered the plane to avoid crashing into a neighborhood. Olajide said the plane was “making a lot of noise” as it dove toward the ground.
The Nigeria plane crash is still under investigation. However, it appears to have been caused by mechanical failure. Authorities will release the victims’ names once their families have been notified.
[Image via Wikipedia]