Nigerian domestic carrier Dana Air has confirmed that prior to the country’s worst air disaster in nearly 20 years the pilot of the aircraft made an emergency radio transmission to report engine failure. The accident occurred last weekend and involved a Boeing MD-83. The plane burst into flames after ploughing into a residential building near Lagos airport.
All of those on board died in the incident and it is believed that at least six people died on the ground. The Nigerian government has ordered an investigation into what caused the crash and President Goodluck Jonathan declared three days of mourning.
Oscar Wilson, director of flight operations at Dana, said that a mayday call was placed prior to the crash but that it was not yet clear whether he was referring to one or both engines when reported the failure.
Earlier in the week the Nigerian minister for aviation said that both engines had failed. Wilson said that it was irresponsible to speculate until the investigation had been completed. He added that all of the planes in Dana’s fleet had been tested to make sure that they were capable of flying on a single engine. He went on to say that Iberia Airlines were responsible for the maintenance of the fleet.
In the meantime Dana’s licence to operate has been indefinitely suspended by the Nigerian authorities.