The bodies of the seven Nigerian Air Force personnel who died in a crash on Sunday have now arrived at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja as the NAF commenced the burial on Thursday morning.
The deceased personnel are: Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama, the Captain; Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo, the Co-Pilot; Flying Officer Micheal Okpara, an Airborne Tactical Observation System Specialist; Warrant Officer Bassey Etim, ATOS Specialist; Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi, ATOS Specialist; Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka, ATOS Specialist; and Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).
Top NAF officials starting with the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, as well as family members of the deceased are in attendance at the burial.
Other service chiefs and the Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor, are also in attendance.
On Tuesday, it was reported that an investigative panel set up by the Chief of the Air Staff to probe the crash had begun sitting in Abuja on Monday, while members had also visited the scene of the fatal aircraft crash to collect evidences for examination.
The panel was instituted to unravel the remote and immediate causes of the crash which claimed seven NAF personnel who were on a mission to search for the abducted Kagara school pupils in Niger State on Sunday.
The NAF Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft had crashed while returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, after reporting an engine failure en route to Minna.
All the personnel on board died in the crash.
"The aircraft was returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja after reporting engine failure enroute Minna, where it was scheduled to conduct surveillance missions over Niger State and its environs in connection with the concerted efforts to secure the release of the students/staff abducted from the Government Science College Kagara, Niger State," the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola, had said in a release on Sunday evening.