Seven die in Nigerian Air Force plane crash near Abuja airport

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Rescuers and people gather near the debris of a Nigerian air force plane, which according to the aviation minister crashed while approaching the Abuja airport runway, in Abuja, Nigeria February 21, 2021. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

The Nigerian Air Force has revealed the identities of seven of its officers who died in a plane crash on Sunday afternoon.

The aircraft, King Air 350, crashed after reporting engine failure on its way to Minna, Niger State, It was reported.

The crash occurred around the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

Nigeria’s aviation minister, Hadi Sirika, who confirmed the incident, said it was fatal.

A statement by the airforce spokesperson, Ibikunle Daramola, said the incident is being investigated.

Read the full statement including the identities of the late officials below.

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 7 personnel lost their lives in the crash:
a. Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain).

b. Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot).

c. Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System (ATOS) Specialist).

d. Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialist).

e. Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist).

f. Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist).

g. Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).

ALSO READ: Plane Crash: Buhari condoles with NAF, victims’ families, orders investigation

Earlier, the CAS visited the scene of the accident, in the 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.

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