Pilgrims have recounted their ordeal inside the Boeing 744 aircraft,
owned by Max Air, as it made it way down to the tarmac from the sky,
with many of the passengers experiencing hysteria while at least three
women lost consciousness.

A Boeing 744 with registration number 5N/DBK carrying Niger pilgrims
and officials on Saturday had crash-landed causing panic at the Minna
International Airport.

Part of the tarmac and some materials were also damaged by the
aircraft which skidded off the runway.

The aircraft had taken off from King Abdul-Aziz International Airport,
Jeddah with 560 passengers and 19 crew members, it was gathered.

An eyewitness said most of the passengers were in shock, while two
pilgrims fainted.

A medical official onboard told Daily Trust on Sunday that passengers
became panicky by unusual noise when the aircraft approached the
airport.

She said everybody was reciting verses from the holy Qur’an and praying.

Another returning pilgrim who was in the affected aircraft, Hajiya
Asabe, said they were terrified, adding that as a result of the
development, three women fainted.

“It was Allah that saved the situation. There was this loud noise
which caused panic and shouts from all corners.

“We started praying and then there was an impact during the landing
process that shook the entire plane, which also heightened the panic.

“But Alhamdulillah, we all safe aside from those who fainted and were
rushed to General Hospital, Minna.

“When we alighted, we noticed that the aircraft landed by the side and
part of its wings were cracked,” she explained.

She said from the discussion by the officials, the pilot must have
made a mistake during the landing process.

“We heard them saying it was a technical problem and that the pilot
didn’t really get his acts right,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) said it has
commenced an investigation into the incident involving a Max Air
aircraft.

The bureau said Max Air had notified it of the “serious incident”
involving the airline’s Boeing 747-400 aircraft with nationality and
registration marks 5N-DBK which occurred during the final approach on
runway 23 of the airport.

What would have been another tragedy in the Nigerian aviation sector
was averted on Saturday as a Max Air aircraft with 550 passengers
crash-landed at the Minna International Airport in Niger State.

SaharaReporters had reported that a Boeing 747-300 with registration
number 5N-DBK, developed fault mid-air leading to the collapse of one
of the four engines of the aircraft.

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