One of the persons who witnessed the air mishap involving an aircraft of the Nigerian Air Force in Abuja on Sunday has narrated what transpired.
At least seven Air Force personnel were killed when a Beachcraft aircraft crashed shortly after take-off.
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The aircraft, which was en route to Minna, Niger State capital, crashed after the perimeter fence of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The witness told Daily Trust that the ill-fated aircraft struggled for balance and began descending dangerously until it hit a mango tree close to a stream behind Basa village in the nation’s capital.
Our correspondent who took pictures of the crash site was confronted by military personnel who seized his mobile phone and deleted pictures already taken.
As of 12 midday, the black box and the cockpit recorder had been recovered.
Before our correspondent left the scene, lifeless bodies were collected in body bags and hauled into waiting ambulances.
Firemen attached to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) succeeded in putting out the fire after noon while officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) were on ground.
At about 1:30pm, a team of investigators arrived the scene from the Accident Investigation Bureau of Nigerian (AIB-N).
Working with the Air Force personnel, the investigators immediately began to map out sight, examine the scene and also identified body parts of the aircraft which laid strewn around the crash site.
At about 2pm, all emergency rescue teams had completed their task and they were ordered to leave the scene for the investigators to access the pattern of crash without disruption.