At least 9 people are feared to have died when a commuter plane carrying 20 people crashed shortly after takeoff from the local wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Nigeria’s economic capital city of Lagos Thursday, rescue officials said.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) gave the figure as rescue operations continued at the scene of the crash, which occurred around 9am local time.
Not less than five persons were said to have survived the crash, and are said to be in critical condition.
The privately-owned Associated Airlines turbo prop plane was carrying the remains of former Governor Olusegun Agagu of the South-west Ondo state, who died last month, as well as some of his family members to Akure, the state capital, when it crashed.
The General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Femi Osanyintolu, told journalists at the scene of the crash that the casket containing the former Governor’s body had been recovered from the scene.
”The body is intact,” he said, without confirming whether or not any of the former Governor’s family members died in the crash.
Spokesman for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Yakubu Dati said the Black box of the Embraer 120 turbo prob plane has been recovered.
It was the worst air crash in the country since the June 2012 crash of a Dana Air plane on the outskirts of Lagos that left at least 150 dead.