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Dana Coroner: TV stations show videos of plane crash

By ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH, ONOZURE DANIA & MICHAEL OLADEPO

LAGOS—Video clippings from the scene of the ill-fated crash of Dana Airline plane were, yesterday, shown before a Lagos Coroner, Magistrate Komolafe Oyetade, by two television stations that covered the accident.

The media houses, Channels Television and Television Continental, TVC, were summoned by the court to present the pictures of the scene.

At the resumed hearing, the witness who presented the tape from Channels Television, Mr. Oreoluwa Shonibare, told the court that on that fateful day while on duty, he was called by his director, that there was a plane crash at Iju-Ishaga.

On arriving at the scene at 3:30 pm, he met a large crowd and a billow of smoke which made it almost impossible for him and his crew to do their work.

Shonibare described how the plane plunged into a two-storey building and a bungalow, adding that it was tough seeing people burning, so he had to help the rescue team.

Responding to questions,  he said he was not aware of any casualties as it was a collective loss. Doing his job, he interviewed some of the rescue officials but they were not willing to give details of what happened at the scene before he got there.

While being cross-examined by Mr. Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, counsel to Dana Air, Shonibare  said he cannot give the exact number of the policemen that came for rescue operation at the scene, adding that the crowd was not regulated, saying, at a point they were able to control them to the best of their abilities.

He also said the rescue was a collective effort as the Lagos State Fire Services, Nigerian Emergency Management Agency, Airforce, civil defence corps and rescue teams from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria were on ground to help.

Another witness,  Mr Olugboyega Oshifowora,  a reporter from Television Continental, who was also at the crash site, told the court that he had gone for an assignment earlier, when he came to file his report in the office and was immediately asked to go to Iju-Ishaga, where the plane crashed.

Oshifowora, who went with his cameraman and driver, said getting to the scene, his cameraman took the shots of the engines and tails of the plane burning.

He told the court  that he can not give the exact time he arrived at the scene, but that he met Lagos fire service and federal airport authority of Nigeria on ground.

Meanwhile, Africa Independent Television, which was also supposed to present its video footage, could not do so because they did not come with gadgets to play their tape.

Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe thereafter told AIT, Dana Air and Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, to prepare for today’s sitting.


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