5 in­jured in US-bound Delta air­craft mid-air fire

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Ab­dul­la­teef Aliyu, La­gos

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.

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