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Bellview, Sosoliso crashes: NCAA indicts

Posted by By Oluyinka Akintunde, Abuja on 2006/10/04 | Views: 373 |

Bellview, Sosoliso crashes: NCAA indicts


Barely one year after the air crashes involving a Bellview Airline Flight 210 and a Sosoliso Airline Flight 1145, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority on Tuesday in Abuja, admitted that the country’s airports emergency response to the two accidents was poor and far below expectation.

Barely one year after the air crashes involving a Bellview Airline Flight 210 and a Sosoliso Airline Flight 1145, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority on Tuesday in Abuja, admitted that the country’s airports emergency response to the two accidents was poor and far below expectation.

The authority also called for the putting in place of a robust airport emergency programme in case of security threats such as hijacks, sabotage and all other unlawful interference with civil aviation activities.

The Bellview aircraft had on October 22, 2005 crashed at Lisa, Ogun State, killing all the 117 people on board, while the Sosoliso aircraft, carrying 110 passengers, including about 62 students of the Loyola Jesuit College, also crashed in Port Harcourt on December 10, 2005. There were only two survivors.

The Director-General of the NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren, owned up to the poor state of the search and rescue efforts at the International Civil Aviation Organisation workshop on Airport Emergency Planning in Abuja.

The Airport Emergency Planning workshop is part of efforts of the Federal Ministry of Aviation and its parastatals to meet the ICAO requirements, ahead of the audit of the country’s aviation facilities in November 2006.

Demuren particularly noted that the weakness in the country’s airport emergency response was badly exposed in the second accident that occurred in the premises of the Port Harcourt International Airport.

He said, “As you would recall, Nigeria had two major air crashes around this time last year in which we lost more than 200 people. Our Search and Research efforts were not good enough and far below expectation to say the least.

“The fire fighting and rescue efforts, emergency medical attention, casualties’ distribution, communication and overall coordination of response to the emergency were far below expectation.”

He added that the search and rescue efforts during the two incidents ended in a “dead recovery” exercise.

In a comparative analysis with similar accidents all over the world, the NCAA boss disclosed that such accidents have had an appreciable level of success in rescuing passengers.

“The new Airbus A380 with over 800 passengers has demonstrated evacuation in 90 seconds of all passengers with only half of its exit doors usable. Search and rescue efforts should not be different in our continent,” Demuren explained.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.