By Evelyn Usman
LAGOS—The news of yesterday’s plane crash in Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos, no doubt, came to Lagosians in particular and the country in general, as a rude shock.
But to the bereaved families, words of consolation will doubtlessly not be enough to erase the indelible agony and emotional trauma they are currently going through this is because, never in their wildest imagination had they envisaged that the conversation they probably had with their loved ones on board the ill fated aircraft would be the last.
But yesterday’s incident is not the first time the country would be hit with such tragedy. Statistics has shown that over two thousand persons have lost their lives in different plane crashes in the country between 1969 till date.
Statistics, showed that the first plane crash in the country occurred in November 20, 1969 in which a total of 87 passengers on board Nigeria Airways BAC VC10 perished . In January 22, 1973: Royal Jordanian Airlines flight 707 carrying 171 Nigerian Muslims returning from Mecca and 5 crewmen crashed in Kano, killing all passengers.
Five years later, precisely on March 1, 1978, Nigerian Airways F28-1000 crashed in Kano killing 16 passengers on board followed by another Nigeria Airways F28-1000 which crashed on November 28, 1983, in Enugu killing 53 on board.
February 24, 1991: British Helicopter crashed in Eket, Akwa Ibom State, killing all nine people on board.
Others plane crashes occurred as follow;
•June 26, 1991: An Okada Air Bac-11 crashed in Sokoto, three people died.
•July 11, 1991: Nigeria Airways DC-8-61 crashes in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from system failure killing 261 on board.
•26 Jun 1991; Okada Air BAC-111; Sokoto, Nigeria: Fuel starvation during holding pattern over Sokoto due to heavy rain. Flight from Benin City diverted from Kano due to heavey rain. None of the three-crew members and three of the 52 passengers sustained fatal injuries.
•September 26, 1992: Nigerian Air Force A C-130 plane crashes minutes after take-off from Lagos. All 200 on board killed.
•June 24, 1995: Harka Air Services Tupolev 34 crashes on landing in Lagos killing 16.
•November 13, 1995: Nigeria Airways Boeing 737-2F9 crashes on landing in Kaduna killing 9.
•January 17, 1996: Ibrahim Abacha, son of Sani Abacha, was killed in a plane crash. The group “United Front for Nigeria’s Liberation” (UFNL) claimed responsibility for the crash.
•November 7, 1996: A Nigerian ADC (Aviation Development Corporation) Airline Boeing 727-231 flying from Port Harcourt to Lagos with 142 passengers and 9 crew members crashed on landing, plunging into a lagoon with all on board killed.
•January 31, 1997: SkyPower Express Airways Embraer 110PIA crashes on landing in Yola killing 5.
• September 12, 1997: A NAF Dornier 228-212 in Nguru, Bornu State ran into a ditch during the take off, none of the 10 people died.
•January 5, 2000: SkyPower Express Airways Bandeirante 110P1A crashes on landing in Abuja killing 17.
•May 4, 2002: EAS Airlines’ BAC 1-11-500 with 105 people on board crashed and burst into flames in a poor, densely populated suburb of Kano. 76 on board killed, including 72 on the ground bringing it to a total 148 dead.
•July 26, 2004: Pan African Airlines’ helicopter crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in Eacraros, Delta State, 4 people on board died.
•February 25, 2005: ADC’s B73 aircraft had its tyre burnt while landing at Yola airport.
•March 27, 2005: A Boeing 737 of Bellview had one of its engines caught fire.
•June 11/12, 2005: Lagos: a Boeing 727-200 aircraft belonging to the domestic Chachangi Airlines overshot the runway at Murtala Muhammed airport, while yet another overshot the runway at the airport in Jos in central Nigeria a day earlier
•July 23, 2005, a Lufthansa aircraft crash-landed at Lagos airport and was badly damaged, but no life was lost.
• October 22, 2005: A Bellview Airlines Boeing 737 airl iner with 117 people on board crashes and disintegrates in flames shortly after take-off from Lagos. All on board killed.
•December 10, 2005: A Sosoliso Airlines DC-9 crashes in Port Harcourt, killing all 103 on board. Most on board were for schoolchildren going home for Christmas.
•September 17, 2006: A 18-seater Dornier 228 Air Force transport plane, carrying 15 senior army officers and three crew members crashed leaving only three survivors that sustained serious injuries. The plane with registration number 228-212 crashed in northern part of the country at Oko village in Vandeikya local government area of Benue State at about 10:30 a.m
•October 26, 2000: Dornier aircraft plunged into a thick bush near the Niger Delta, 6 occupants injured.
•October 29, 2006: Aviation Development Corporation Airline Boeing 737 with 104 on board crashes minutes after take-off from Abuja’s airport during a rain storm. All but 6 perished in the disaster. The spiritual leader of Nigeria’s Sunni Muslims, His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Maccido was among the dead.
•November 10, 2006: OAS Service Helicopter crashed in Warri, Delta state killing 4 on board.
•August 2, 2007: Bristow-owned helicopter crashed inside ExxonMobil facility in Port Harcout.
•March 15, 2008: Beechcraft 1900D plane marked 5N-JAH, belonging to Wing Aviation crashed in the mountainous forest of Busi in Cross River State on its way to Obudu airstrip. The wreakage was not found until 6 months after the disappearance of the aircraft. All 4 man crew on board died.
•March 14, 2012: A Helicopter belonging to the Joint Task Force (JTF) crashes in Kabong, Jos, killing all members on-board including 4 senior Police officers.