Journalism of Courage

Lagos-bound Dana aircraft in near mishap, 50 passengers made hairbreadth escape

...aircraft tyres caught fire at Port Harcourt airport

No fewer than 50 passengers had a hairbreadth escape on Monday when fire the tyres of a Lagos-bound Dana Airlines plane caught fire at Port Harcourt airport in Rivers State.

The passengers were rescued unhurt as first responders including firefighters at the airport intervened swiftly to put the situation under control, Persecondnews learnt.

The incident occurred which on Monday evening involved an aircraft with registration no. 5N JOY operating flight 9J 344 from Port Harcourt to Lagos.

It was learnt that the impact on the brakes as a result of the aborted take off affected the aircraft tyres which sparked off while the aircraft was taxiing to re-park.

Dana in a statement on Tuesday morning said the aircraft had been grounded pending the conclusion of  investigations.

“Our aircraft with registration number 5N JOY operating flight 9J 344 from Port Harcourt to Lagos on 2nd of May 2022, was set to take off when the pilot in command noticed an anomaly which he queried with the Air Traffic Control before embarking on a ramp return in line with our strict safety operating procedures

“However, the impact on the brakes as a result of the aborted take off affected the aircraft tyres which sparked off while the aircraft was taxiing to re-park.

“All 50 passengers onboard the aircraft disembarked safely and our maintenance team have immediately grounded the aircraft pending the conclusion of their investigations.

“Once again, we sincerely apologize to all the passengers on the flight for the inconveniences caused due to the eventual cancellation of the flight,” Dana Air spokesman, Kingsley Ezenwa, said.

The Nigerian civil airspace has maintained a relatively safe record in about a decade now which has increased passengers’ confidence in air travel.

The last air crash in the country involving a commercial airplane was in June 2012 when a Dana Air MD-83 aircraft from Abuja crashed in Iju area of Agege, Lagos, while attempting an emergency landing

Persecondnews recalls that all the 153  passengers on board and the six people on the ground that the plane crashed into in a residential building died.

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