99 Passengers Escape Death, As Another Air Crash Averted In Kaduna

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  • IRS Plane Crash Lands In Kaduna


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There was panic at the Kaduna Airport on Sunday when  an  IRS Airlines Fokker 100 plane with about 99 passengers and crew   made an emergency landing.
The incident happened 10  days after 15 people  were killed   in  an Associated Airlines plane  crash in Lagos and nine days after a Kabo Airlines Boeing 747  aircraft also made an emergency landing in Sokoto Airport, Sokoto.

The IRS plane, which departed the Murtala Mohammed Airport in  Lagos  was said to have experienced hydraulic leakage a few minutes to its  landing at the Kaduna Airport.
The pilots  of the flight 3390 were said to have  requested an emergency landing from the airport’s  control tower which was immediately granted.
The control tower, according to an aviation source,  called the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria which deployed fire fighters in and airport emergency response team the runway.
Although the plane landed safely, it  was said to have been  towed from the runway to the airport apron after the panic-stricken   passengers had disembarked .
A source at  the   airport, who  said  none of the passengers and members of the crew got injured, added that some parts of the plane were damaged.
He said,  “Firefighters were immediately deployed to avert any fire incident. When the plane landed safely, there was a near stampede by the passengers  but there were no injuries.”
The Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Fola Akinkuotu,  confirmed the incident, saying that  investigation had commenced into the cause of the incident.
A statement by the agency quoted him as saying, “An aircraft Fokker 100 with registration number 5N-HIR operated by IRS Airlines landed safely following a hydraulic leakage on the runway of Kaduna Airport today (Sunday). The NCAA directed the airline to tow the aircraft to the apron. The  Accident Investigation and  Prevention Bureau has commenced investigation into the incident.”
Akinkuotu, however, assured air travellers of their safety and cautioned against magnifying a manageable incident.
The Managing Director, IRS, Mr. Yemi Dada, in an email statement to journalists, said  the aircraft developed the fault on final approach to the Kaduna airport.
According to him, the cockpit crew got a warning from the aircraft system that the plane had low hydraulic, and decided to take a precautionary measure by asking for ground confirmation  from the control tower  at the Kaduna airport that all the landing  gears were down and locked.
Dada stated that the aircraft landed normally after the control tower had confirmed that the gears were all down and locked.
He said, “The crew proceeded to land, but followed procedure to disembark on the runway and not taxi in accordance with the procedure. All passengers disembarked normally and the aircraft was towed to ramp. The maintenance crew   inspected to confirm the issue that caused the warning on the aircraft cockpit to the crew.”
IRS currently operates one aircraft, as its remaining planes are routine checks overseas
However some aviation  agency officials were said to have  faulted the pilots for declaring  an emergency and calling for the deployment of  fire fighters.
A pilot  told The PUNCH  that  the officials argued that the pilots  could have   landed  the plane safely without causing further apprehension  in the aviation sector.
This was further confirmed in a statement issued by the Ministry of Aviation, which denied that the aircraft had emergency landing.
A statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Joe Obi, said , “The pilot, using reverse throttle mechanism, safely landed and stopped the aircraft on the runway.
“The aircraft was not involved in an emergency landing. All passengers and crew disembarked safely, after which the aircraft was towed from the runway to the apron. Normal operations have since resumed at the airport.”

Source: Punch

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