Plane crash:Aircraft was still operational- Dana Air
…as 113 bodies are recovered from wreckage
By Oyise Oghene
LAGOS-Owners of the ill fated Nigerian domestic aircraft which crashed into a residential area in Lagos on sunday killing all 153 passengers on board, Dana Airline have explained that their aircraft the McDonnell Douglas (MD83) aircraft with registration number 5N-RAM, despite being 22 years old was still serviceable and operational.
Speaking at De Skyline Hotel, Director of Flight Operations, Captain Oscar Wilson with Director of Ground Operations, Amos Olajide and Communication Manager, Tony Usidamen explained the airline’s side stating that the aircraft was in good condition.
Captain Wilson who explained the airline’s schedule the day it crashed said that the aircraft had flown to Ibadan on Saturday without hitches contrary to rumours that it was undergoing repairs. He said that Sunday was a different story entirely as the aircraft had started operations as early as 7.47am
He said,“ On Sunday, 5N-RAM flew at 7.47am left Lagos to Abuja on flight 999 and Abuja back to Lagos on Flight 998. The aircraft went back to Abuja flight 993 and was coming back before the fatal flight 992.”
“No aircraft would go if not in perfect condition. We don’t take risks with people’s lives. I did the test flight myself, there was nothing wrong with the aircraft, it was okay.”
Captain Wilson said that 94 bodies have been recovered from the aircraft that crashed on Sunday stating that the airline is doing its best to assist authorities in unraveling the cause of the crash
On rumours of sanctions from the NCAA as reasons why the airline was not flying, Director of Ground Operations, Amos Olajide said that it would look inhuman for an airline to record such casualties and yet carry on as if nothing happened.
According to him, the operations were suspended by the airline itself,” Immediately after the crash, we suspended all operations and cancelled the remaining flight. At least we needed to put human feelings for the lost souls. If we do not stop operations that means we have no respect for the lost souls and for Nigerians.”
Communication Manager Tony Usidamen who spoke said,” We are hearing rumours of a sanction because our aircraft are faulty but that is not true in truth, we did this to honour the victims of the flight.”
Managing Director of the airline, Jacky Hathiramani, in an earlier statement expressed his sympathies to the families and friends of the deceased.
“The Dana Air family is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of the passengers and crew of flight 9J-922 of Sunday June 3, 2012. The aircraft, with registration number 5N-RAM, departed Abuja for Lagos with 146 passengers’ onboard.1 Dana Air Flight Engineer, 2 pilots and 4 cabin crew were also on the flight.”
“We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the deceased and we are doing everything we can to assist them in this extremely difficult time.”
however reports reaching at press time has indicated that 113 bodies have been recovered from the site of the crash in Iju area of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve center.