Hundreds of passengers cheated death on Friday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMA) Lagos following a ground collision involving two aircraft belonging to FirstNation Airlines.
The Street Journal gathered that the near mishap occurred when the landing aircraft was taxing from the runway to MMA2, to disengage passengers, while the taking off aircraft was preparing for departure to Port-Harcourt Airport from the same terminal.
It was learned that the Port-Harcourt bound aircraft, an Airbus 330 conveying not fewer than 250 passengers, was parked at Gate 4 while the arriving aircraft, another Airbus 330 conveying about the same passenger figure, was bound for the Gate 3 of the terminal.
A source at the airport who preferred not to be named, told the Street Journal that the marshals misdirected the arriving pilot to the same Gate as the departure aircraft, which led to the two wings of the aircraft colliding with each other.
The ground collision resulted in the two aircraft partially damaging their bodies similar to another one which occurred at the airport on July 6, involving two aircraft belonging to Emirates and Hak Airlines.
Confirming the incident, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in a statement issued by its General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr Fan Ndubuoke, said no passenger was hurt.
He said that the incident had been referred to the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) for further investigation and stressed NCAA’s commitment to safety and security of passengers.
The NCAA, in the aftermath of the near tragedy, immediately grounded both aircraft, while passengers were asked to disembark by the airline which made refund of tickets to Port-Harcourt bound passengers.