Six people died in the main building into which the Nigerian passenger plane crashed on the outskirts of the commercial city of Lagos on Sunday, the General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Services (LASEMA), Dr. Femi Osanyintolu, said Tuesday.
It was the first time since the crash that anyone has given a figure of the number of people who died on the ground when the DANA Airlines’ MD83 plane, carrying 153 passengers and crew, slammed into a two-storey building at the densely populated Iju-Ishaga area.
The number of those who died on the ground could rise, as some of those who were injured in the crash remained hospitalised.
There were no survivors from the crash, the worst in the country in two decades.
”So far so good, the Lagos State Government…has been trying their best, and so far 36 people were displaced (by the crash) and six died in the building,” Mr. Osanyintolu said. ”Out of the six, four are residents and two came to watch a football match (on television).”
Overall so far. he said some 148 bodies have been recovered as at Tuesday morning, when recovery work resumed for the third day running.
An early morning torrential rainfall delayed the start of work Tuesday by over one hour.
The Director of Search and Rescue at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Dr. Alexander Bankole, said the recovery work could end Tuesday if all the bodies were recovered.
The crash also affected three other buildings in the area.
The LASEMA boss said while the building that bore the main impact of the crash would be pulled down ”through controlled demolition”, state officials would assess others to see if their structures remain strong enough to allow them to stand.
Though the cause of the crash, the local media reported on Tuesday, quoting senior aviation officials, that the plane’s twin engines caught fire and apparently failed before the crash.
An unidentified staff of DANA Airlines on Monday told the local Channel TV station that the airline had been flying the plane despite knowing it was not in good condition. The airline has denied the allegation.