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Nigeria Plane Crash Kills 16, Was Carrying Official's Body to Funeral

Image: Nigeria Plane Crash Kills 16, Was Carrying Official's Body to Funeral

Thursday, 03 Oct 2013 02:16 PM

By David Ogul

A plane crash in Lagos, Nigeria, killed 16 people Thursday. The aircraft was also carrying the body of a former government aviation official to his funeral.

Reuters reported that the Brazillian-made, Embraer 120 was flying from Lagos to the town of Akure, about 140 miles east of Lago, when it crashed about 9:30 a.m. local time, or about 4:30 Eastern Time.

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Information Nigeria reported that six people survived the crash, including an unidentified male. The so-called black box containing data has been recovered and given to the country’s Accident Investigation Bureau.

The plane was carrying the body of Olusegun Agagu, who is the former governor of Ondo State and a former Nigerian aviation administer, CNN said.

An engine apparently failed shortly after takeoff, and the plane operated by Associated Airlines went down near an airport fuel depot, Information Nigeria said. “It was going to Akure,” Supo Atobatele, a spokesman for the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, was quoted as saying. “The engine failed on takeoff and it crash-landed and burst into flames.”

Rasheed Olajide, an engineer at the airport, told Reuters that “the plane was making a lot of noise before it came down.”

The recovered corpse of the former governor was taken to an air base in Ikeja, Nigeria, officials said.

A statement attributed to Ondo State Gov. Eni Akinsola said the state “received with shock the news of the crash of the plane bearing the corpse of the former Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, as it was taking off from Lagos.”

The statement continued, “This is an unfortunate disaster in the life of our dear State. We can only pray that God will visit the State with mercy and give us all the strength to bear these unfortunate losses.”

Reuters noted that the crash was the latest in a series of air accidents in Africa’s second-largest country. In June of 2012, 163 people were killed when a Dana Air plane crashed in Lagos.

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