THE Federal Government yesterday said it would ensure that the accident involving a DANA airplane in which 153 persons died would be thoroughly investigated to determine the exact cause of the crash.
The Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah-Ogiewonyi, who spoke at a press briefing at about 9.30 p.m. at the headquarters of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said the action would help to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.
The minister, who could not hold back tears, said at about 3.43 p.m. local time yesterday, DANA Air flight 0992 from Abuja to Lagos declared an emergency and “Mayday” minutes later with the Lagos control tower at 11 nautical miles to Murtala Muhammed Airport.
“Mayday” is an emergency procedure word used internationally as a distress signal in voice procedure radio communications. It derives from the French venez m’aider, meaning “come help me.”
It is used to signal a life-threatening emergency primarily by mariners and aviators, but in some countries local organisations such as police forces, firefighters, and transportation organisations also use the term.
The call is always given three times in a row (“Mayday Mayday Mayday”) to prevent mistaking it for some similar-sounding phrase under noisy conditions, and to distinguish an actual “Mayday” call from a message about a Mayday call.
While reading her speech, she paused for a minute, as tears streamed down her face.
The minister stated that the Police, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), rescue teams from the airport, Lagos State, Ogun State and other agencies were at the crash site within minutes. She however said no survivor was found.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the passengers and the people on the ground who lost their lives in this tragedy,” she said.
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