The authorities of the Nigerian Police Force and the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) have disagreed over a report that the police helicopter, Bell 429 5NMDA, flying from Abuja to Bauchi crashed on Wednesday night.
While the AIB in a statement Thursday said it was notified by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) of the crash and that there were some injuries, the police claimed that none of the occupants sustained any injury whatsoever.
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The AIB General Manager, Public Affairs, Tunji Oketunbi, in a statement said the NPF helicopter departed Abuja at 16:54 UTC for Bauchi with six persons onboard maintaining 5,500ft.
“There were some injuries but no fatality. The investigating agency, AIB-N needs and hereby solicits your assistance. We want the public to know that we would be amenable to receiving any video clips, evidence, or information any member of the public may have of the accident that can assist us with this investigation.
“The bureau will appreciate that the general public and press respect the privacy of the people involved and not assume the cause of the accident until the formal report is released.”
But the spokesman of the force, Frank Mba, a commissioner of police, explained that the aircraft, which was flown by one of the police pilots, was professionally safe-landed with minor damage on the rear rotor as a result of an obstacle at the landing spot.
Mba, in a statement made available to journalists, insisted that the incident, which occurred around 7:30pm (local time) did not have its helicopter crashed nor did any of the occupants sustain any injury.
“The Nigeria Police Helicopter, Bell 429 5NMDA, flying from Abuja to Bauchi on Tuesday, February 26, 2022, was involved in a controlled safe landing at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport, Bauchi.
“The aircraft did not crash as being reported in some sections of the media and none of the occupants sustained any injury whatsoever. All six onboard including the pilot and co-pilot are in good condition,” the statement said.
Idowu Isamotu & Abdullateef Aliyu, Lagos