A helicopter belonging to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), has crashed into the Ribadu Cantonment, also called the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, Old Campus, killing all seven people on board , including 4 crew members and 3 passengers.
Official sources said the helicopter which was on its way to Abuja crashed a few minutes after takeoff from the Nigerian Air Force Base, Kaduna, with no survivor.
Air Commodore Dele Alonge, the spokesperson for the Nigerian Air Force, who confirmed the incident in a statement on Saturday said:
“A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Dornier-228 aircraft, with call sign NAF030, has crashed into a house at Ribadu Cantonment, Kaduna. Though no casualty was recorded on ground, there were no survivors among the passengers onboard the aircraft.
“The aircraft was Abuja bound and had taken-off at about 6:45am from the Kaduna Military Airfield before the mishap. Bodies of the passengers have been recovered and fire fighters are already at the crash site to curtail fire from spreading to other buildings within the vicinity.
“Meanwhile, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar has aborted his official trip to Port Harcourt to visit the site of the air crash and families of some of the deceased personnel in company of the Air Officer Commanding Training Command, Air Vice-Marshal Alikali Mamu.
“The CAS has also set up an investigation panel headed by an Air Vice Marshal to unravel the cause of the accident with immediate effect.”
Also confirming the incident, Alhaji Musa Ilellah, the North West Zonal Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said the helicopter crashed on part of a residential building and sank into the sand.
Ilellah said that the corpses, most of which were in pieces, had been moved to the Air Force Base Hospital and the air force authorities were investigating the cause of the crash.
The Street Journal recalls that a fortnight ago, a Bristow Helicopter flying from an oil rig in Escravos, Delta State, crashed into the Lagos lagoon, killing six people including all crew members, with six survivors.