By Egufe Yafugborhi, with agency report
Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has commenced investigation into how Dana Air plane overshot the runway at Port Harcourt International Airport.
The Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, according to its spokesman, Mr Tunji Oketumbi, has also dispatched some of its men to Port Harcourt for the investigation.
The incident involving a Dana Air Boeing MD-83 jet happened at about 7:30 pm,Tuesday. None of the 44 passengers and six crew on board was injured.
Spokesman of the agency, Sam Adurogboye, who disclosed this, yesterday, said the plane was badly damaged.
“We have launched an investigation.” Adurogboye said.
It is the second incident involving Dana Air plane this month as one of its aircraft, February 7, had its emergency exit door fell off as it landed in Abuja from Lagos.
The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, said Tuesday’s overshoot “was suspected to have been caused by heavy rain, which was accompanied by strong wind and a storm.”
CPC speaks on incident
Meanwhile, Consumer Protection Council, CPC, has directed Dana Airline to provide necessary logistics support to affected passengers on Flight 9J0363.
Director-General of CPC, Babatunde Irukera, in a statement, said he had contacted Dana Air management and had come to an understanding that the airline would provide logistic support and accommodation to affected passengers.
He said this was in compliance with minimum standards in accordance with prevailing Regulations under Part 19, Nigerian Civil Aviation Rules (NCAR).
Mr. Irukera commended airport officials’ prompt response to the mishap and safe evacuation and management of what could otherwise have been a tragic event.
He said: “Cause of incident still unknown but under investigation. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, and Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, have been notified and already in control.”
Passengers threaten legal action
Meanwhile, passengers, yesterday, shared their experiences and fears over the incident while also threatening to sue Dana Air for ill-treatment and loss of luggages over the incident.
A lady among the lucky passengers, said: “I don’t know what happened. Along the line, we veered off the runway. Before we knew it, everybody was just shouting and praying to God to intervene before it landed us in the bush.
“There was nobody to direct us on where to go, no medical team. Everybody was just running in confusion. Now we are here to collect our luggages, they said the manager is at the incident’s scene.”
Another male passenger told Vanguard: “We have been here today (Wednesday) as early as 8 O’clock to get our luggages, they are not giving them to us. As I speak, my family is not even aware of what has happened because my phones, my bags are trapped in the plane.”
Some of the angry passengers further lamented failure of Dana Air management to officially address them going to 24 hours after the incident, threatening to sue the airline under the circumstance.
Effort to reach the Dana Air management on the issue proved abortive, even as no official statement haD been heard from the firm.