The Nigerian Air Force has confirmed the death of 7 officers in a plane crash on Sunday.
The military air craft, NAF Beechcraft King Air B350, crashed yesterday in Abuja after suffering an engine failure while on a rescue mission for Kagara abductees.
The Nigerian Air Force stated that the crash happened while returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, after reporting engine failure on its way to Niger State to conduct surveillance missions to secure the release of Government Science College Kagara students and staff kidnapped by bandits.
Confirming the said development, NAF spokesman, Ibikunle Daramola, in a statement said; “Sadly, all 7 personnel on board died in the crash. While urging the general public to remain calm and await the outcome of investigation, the CAS, on behalf of all NAF personnel, commiserates with the families of the deceased.”
He added that the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, had ordered the immediate investigation into the incident.
The names of the deceased officers are; Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain), Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot), Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System (ATOS) Specialist), Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialist), Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist), Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist) and Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).
“The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), earlier today, 21 February 2021, confirmed that one of its aircraft, a Beechcraft KingAir B350i (NAF 201), crashed while returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja after reporting engine failure enroute Minna, where it was scheduled to conduct surveillance missions over Niger State and its environs in connection with the concerted efforts to secure the release of the students/staff abducted from the Government Science College Kagara, Niger State.
“As earlier stated, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, has instituted an investigative panel to determine the remote and immediate causes of the accident. While the panel has commenced its work, the NAF, having notified the Next of Kins/family members of the deceased, regretfully announces that the following seven personnel lost their lives in the crash”.
“Earlier, the CAS visited the scene of the accident, in company of the Honourable Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retired); Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika; Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor, and other Service Chiefs. The CAS, on behalf of officers, airmen and airwomen of the NAF, once more commiserates with the families of the deceased personnel and prays that the Almighty God grants their souls eternal repose”.
Ibrahim Kenneth Suleiman is the Chief Political Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He is a graduate of political science from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He specializes in preparing/approving of political news contents before publication. He currently heads Naija Buzz News team of political correspondents. From Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria, Ibrahim is a strong supporter of Manchester United Football Club England.