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Surviving crew of Associated Airlines crash to face amputation

BY KENNETH      EHIGIATOR
LAGOS— Unless the Federal Government urgently intervenes to fly Mrs Quinneth Owolabi abroad for treatment, she would have her toes and fingers amputated due to gangrene infection.

Mrs Owolabi is a surviving cabin crew on the ill-fated Associated Airlines plane that crashed in Lagos two weeks ago.

TRAGEDY—The crash scene and rescue operations.
TRAGEDY—The crash scene and rescue operations.

But for her husband’s resistance, the amputation would have been done yesterday or today at Nigerian Air Force, NAF, base hospital in Ikeja, where she had been hospitalised since the crash.

Mrs. Owolabi survived the crash alongside six others, although two of the survivors later died at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH.

Vanguard gathered, yesterday, that the husband of the victim was making frantic efforts to reach the Federal Government for his wife to be flown abroad for treatment to stave off the amputation, especially as the government was said to be responsible for her treatment thus far.

Efforts to reach him proved futile as his mobile phones remained switched off yesterday and it was also not possible to speak with the medical team at the hospital as movements in the victim’s ward was restricted by military personnel.

National President of Nigerian Airlines Cabin Crew Association, NACCA, Mr. Charles Onuoha, who confirmed the development, appealed to the Federal Government to urgently come to the rescue of the crash victim.

According to him, Owolabi’s 10 toes and the five fingers of the left hand have been marked for amputation because of the infection that had set in.

He said: “We are calling for referral for overseas treatment, a post-trauma stress assessment and de-briefing for Mrs Quinneth Owolabi, and her colleague, Miss Toyin Samson, currently on admission at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Lagos.

“We are appealing for government’s intervention because that is the only thing that can stop this amputation.”

Onuoha also called on the Federal Government to beam its searchlight on the regulation of the aviation sector to stop the frequent crashes and deaths of cabin crew that had trailed the industry in the last 10 years.

Onuoha said though Toyin Samson’s case had been stabilised at LASUTH, she needed further medical attention overseas.

He noted that post-trauma stress assessment and de-briefing were a necessity for crash and hijack victims, and lamented the attitude of the management of Associated Airlines to the plight of the two cabin crew since the crash.

 


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