By Charly Agwam – Bauchi
The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB – Nigeria) has said it is investigating an accident involving a Bauchi bound police helicopter from Abuja with 6 passengers on board.
In a press statement shared with Vanguard on Thursday, AIB stated that ‘there were some injuries but no fatality’.
“On 26th January, 2022, Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria was notified by Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) about an accident involving a Bell 429 helicopter with Registration Marks 5N-MDA owned and operated by Nigerian Police Force (NPF). The accident occurred on 26th January, 2022 around 7:30pm (Local Time) at Bauchi Airport.
“The NPF helicopter had departed Abuja at 16:54 UTC for Bauchi with Six persons on board maintaining 5,500ft. There were some injuries but no fatality.
“The investigating agency, AIB-N needs and hereby solicits for your assistance. We want the public to know that we would be amenable to receiving any video clips, evidences, or information any member of the public may have of the accident that can assist us with this investigation.
“The Bureau will appreciate that the general public and press respect the privacy of the people involved and NOT assume the cause of the accident until formal report is released,” the statement reads.
Meanwhile, the police through the Force Public Relations Officer Force Headquarters Abuja, CP Frank Mba, have denied that their helicopter crashed and that none of the occupants sustained any injury in the reported crash.
“The Nigeria Police Helicopter, Bell 429 5NMDA, flying from Abuja to Bauchi on Tuesday, January 26, 2022, was involved in a controlled safe landing at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport, Bauchi.
“The aircraft did not crash as being reported in some sections of the media and none of the occupants sustained any injury whatsoever. All six (6) on board including the pilot and co-pilot are in good condition.
“Similarly, the aircraft, which was flown by one of the best Police Pilots, was professionally safe-landed with minor damage on the rear rotor as a result of obstacle at the landing spot. The incident occurred around 7:30PM (local time).
“The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc (+), NPM, fdc has commended the Police Air-Wing for their professionalism in safe-landing the aircraft and averting any serious air-mishap.
“He further noted that the Nigeria Police Air-wing – with a fleet of one fixed-wing aircraft, a citation jet and thirteen (13) helicopters – has got a strong history of air safety since its establishment in the year 1972,” he noted.