By John Ighodaro
CALABARâ€”Â ABOUT 100 passengers on board an Arik Airline’s Boeing aircraft escaped death at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar, Cross River State, Thursday, when a bird flew into the hydraulic section of the engine as it was landing.
Vanguard learnt the incident occurred as the plane which flew into Calabar from Abuja was already in the process of landing.
It could not be ascertained at press time the extent of damage in view of the bird strike but Vanguard gathered that the incident threw the plane into distress as the contact immediately made the plane to lose speed which could have turned fatal.
The pilot, however, negotiated the plane to a safe landing.
When Vanguard visited the airport, the plane was at the tarmac while its registration number was blurred from the long distance. Arik officials were unwilling to divulge the number, and even refused to comment on the incident.
Other relevant authorities at the airport were also unwilling to comment, perhaps because of the recent incident at the airport which involved a car and a plane.
A source told Vanguard that the incident really startled airport staff and other witnesses of the incident coming on the heels of the recent crash of a car into an airplane at the same airport.
Arik manager at the airport, Mr. Emma Okon, promised to speak later but efforts to make him comment were fruitless as he sounded busy on the tarmac, overseeing preparations for another Arik flight.