Saturday, 7 December 2013
Dana Air Flight 992 Crash: 150 Bodies Recovered, Senate Cripples Dana Operations
As of this, 150 bodies have been recovered from the scene of last Sunday’s Dana Air flight 992 crash in Iju, Lagos State. The black box flight recorder was also recovered yesterday and is now with investigators.
The spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA), Yushau Shuaib, said that while most of the bodies were burned beyond recognition, others were intact and had few bruises lending credence to testimonies from residents that some passengers were alive when the plane first crashed.
The plane exploded 20 minutes after it crashed into several buildings on its belly.
Emergency services did not arrive the scene until an hour and thirty minutes after the crash.
However, Mr. Shuaib stated that rescue officers and engineers would soon pull down some of the affected structure in order to facilitate speedy operation and fumigation.
Meanwhile, the Director-General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi, has decried the lack of discipline and basic knowledge of public safety procedures by most Nigerians during disaster and emergency situations.
Sani-Sidi made the comment this morning before the commencement of search and rescue operations at the scene of the crash, stressing that the crowd that trooped to the scene violated the crash site and made the task of search and rescue officers difficult until the arrival of security personnel that eventually contained the situation.
The NEMA boss also disclosed that his agency would continue to mobilize, train and equip volunteer groups in disaster management in the country. "Crowd-control has always been our major challenges in disaster management when some people turn the scene to a cinema to watch or engage in nefarious activities."
Meanwhile, the Senate had ordered that Dana Air should suspend its operations until all aircraft in its fleet are certified able to fly.
It also ordered the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Harold Demuren, to go on vacation until the end of the ongoing investigation to ascertain the reasons for the crash.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma moved the motion today on the floor of the Nigerian senate, his proposal received support from 50 other senators.
A 22-year old MD 83 jetliner crashed on Sunday carrying 153 passengers, all of whom perished in the tragedy. An unspecified number of people on the ground also died in about seven houses on which the plane crashed after its pilot reported engine trouble.