A small chartered plane, reportedly carrying remains of late former governor of Ondo state, Olusegun Agagu, crashed shortly after takeoff in Lagos on Thursday killing at least five people on board.
The plane belonged to Associated Airline and it was taking off from the domestic wing of the Murtala Mohammed airport in Lagos to Akure, Ondo state with about 20 passengers and seven crew members.
Aviation Ministry spokesman Joe Obi said there were some survivors from the plane crash but did not give further details about the type of aircraft
“The plane couldn’t lift properly so it just came down,” Obi said. “Some persons are being rushed to hospital. A few dead bodies have been recovered, but there are survivors.”
Yakubu Dati, coordinating general manager of Nigeria’s airports authority, told Reuters on the scene that at least five passengers had been killed.
“There’s a lot of smoke coming from the runway. There are fire-fighters rushing to the scene,” Rasaki Rhakod, who runs a car service around the airport, told Reuters.
Nigeria is known to have an appalling aviation safety record and reportedly one of the countries with the fastest growing fleet of private jets.
The two facts are not contradictory, however. The very rich in the country would rather invest in a private jet than risk their lives flying on a commercially operated flight in Nigeria.
In June last year, 163 people died when a Dana Air plane crashed into a Lagos apartment block in the country’s worst airline disaster in two decades.