5 injured in US-bound Delta aircraft mid-air fire
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) have commissioned an investigation into how a US-bound Delta Airline’s aircraft lost one of its engines to fire one hour after take-off for the 13- hour long flight.
“Officials of the AIB are there investigating if it is serious, the AIB will be working with the US National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB,” director general of NCAA, Captain Mukhtar Usman said.
The flight which departed the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos at around 10:30 pm Tuesday had an emergency air return after the left engine was engulfed in fire.
The plane - A330-200 - landed successfully with all the passengers evacuated though five of them were injured.
A preliminary report from the NCAA read: “The flight which initially pushed back at 22:40hrs had Air Return /Emergency landing at 23:16hrs, when the pilot in command (PIC) announced the evacuation of all the passengers on board within 90 seconds, after contacting the Control Towers because the left Engine of the Aircraft was said to have caught fire midair in-flight.
“Passengers were being evacuated via the emergency sliding door within few seconds.
“Although there is no death recorded as at the time of filing this report, quite a number of crew and passenger casualties were recorded and have been taken to LASUTH Ikeja, Air Force Base Clinic, and FAAN Medical Centre for speedy medical attention.
“Meanwhile, the Delta aircraft was still on the runway for over 1hr which led to its closure before KLM, Lufthansa and Air France departed afterward.
“The aircraft was later towed with a push back truck to the open parking bay close to Boarding Gate E 63.”
Delta Airline in a statement confirmed that five passengers with “non- critical” injuries were hospitalized while the remaining passengers were put in different hotels.
“Delta is aware of five customers reporting non-critical injuries as a result of the evacuation,” the company said.