- The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has denied that a plane returning from Saudi Arabia with pilgrims crash-landed at the Minna International Airport in the Niger state capital
- Captain Ibrahim Dili, the Director of Flight Operations of the airline, said the experienced pilots only executed an approach during the heavy rains and a wing of the plane brushed the runway
- The plane had between 550 and 600 people on board, according to reports
About 600 people returning from the holy pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia reportedly survived gruesome death on Saturday, September 7 after their plane made a hard landing at the Minna International Airport.
The Nation reports that the aircraft, a Boeing 744 with registration number 5N/ DBK, reportedly developed technical fault in one of its four engines when it approached the airport.
It quoted a source as saying to newsmen said that no injury or death was recorded in the incident which destroyed part of the tarmac when the aircraft skidded off the runway.
Officials of the Accident Bureau of Investigation from Lagos state have visited the scene of the incident and inspected the partly damaged aircraft.
Eyewitnesses said that the Minna International Airport was saved from a big disaster because a fire from the aircraft would have been hard to stop since there are no firefighting vehicles there.
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“The fire that would have followed would have spread to all parts of the airport because we don’t have fire fighting vehicles in this airport,” a senior official of the airport said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported earlier that the federal government gave approval to the Ebonyi state government to construct an international airport in Abakaliki, the state capital.
The approval followed a request by the Ebonyi state government and subsequent visit to the proposed site by the technical team from the federal ministry of transportation and its agencies,
The state government was sent an approval letter by the safety and technical policy department of the federal ministry of transportation.
UPDATE: The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has denied the report that a Max Air aircraft carrying over 500 pilgrims from Saudi Arabia to Nigeria crash landed at Minna International Airport on Saturday, September 7.
The chairman of the commission, Alhaji Abdullahi Muhammad made the correction via a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) from Makkah, Saudi Arabia on Sunday, September 8.
He said immediately the story filtered into the public domain, the commission conducted its findings into the purported development by getting in touch with the management of the airline concerned and interviewed some passengers that boarded the said plane.
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