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Probe begins as Overland aircraft’s engine catches fire midair

The Accident Investigation Bureau has begun an investigation into the emergency landing of a Lagos-bound Overland Airways aircraft which developed a technical fault midair on Wednesday.

The distressed aircraft with 37 souls on board had sent out Mayday when its engine caught fire in the air. The flight was coming from Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

Speaking on the development, the spokesperson for the AIB, Mr Tunji Oketumbi, in a telephone conversation with our correspondent said the agency had begun an investigation into the incident.

He said, “There’s an ongoing investigation. Our investigators have gone to inspect the aircraft and I believe that they’ll be talking to some people too. The summary is that they are gathering evidence for them to be able to investigate the occurrence. Nobody can put a string on when the final report will be ready but within the period there should be a preliminary report.”

A four-member flight crew of Overland Airways made a successful landing of a distressed aircraft on the Runway 18R of the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on Wednesday evening, after the plane’s engine caught fire mid-air.

The Lagos airport control tower subsequently put the airport emergency response team, including the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s fire services department, on notice, following the Mayday.

The pilot finally landed the faulty plane safely on the international airport’s runway amid a fully prepared airport emergency response team.

Overland Airways, in a statement after the incident, said, “Overland Airways wishes to inform the general public that its flight OF1188 from Ilorin to Lagos experienced an unusual high turbine temperature on one of its engines today, Wednesday, June 15, 2022 around 7:50pm.

“This occurred in the approach phase of flight and the aircraft landed very safely as the crew skillfully implemented their standard procedures for such abnormal situations.

It added, “All 33 passengers remained calm through the process and safely disembarked row by row in accordance with post-COVID-19 procedures after the aircraft came to a halt on the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos runway 18 Right. No passenger was hurt in any way.

“Overland Airways salutes the professional interventions of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the Accident Investigation Bureau Nigeria (AIB-N) which were very prompt and reassuring.”

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