_ap_ufes{"success":true,"siteUrl":"tribuneonlineng.com","urls":{"Home":"http://tribuneonlineng.com","Category":"http://tribuneonlineng.com/category/a-healthy-heart/","Archive":"http://tribuneonlineng.com/2017/04/","Post":"http://tribuneonlineng.com/saraki-asks-nigerians-continue-pray-buhari/","Page":"http://tribuneonlineng.com/about-us/","Attachment":"http://tribuneonlineng.com/?attachment_id=86175","Nav_menu_item":"http://tribuneonlineng.com/tribune-tv-2/"}}_ap_ufee

Tragedy averted as thick smoke envelops Aero plane midair

A major national disaster has been averted at the country’s aviation sector when a thick smoke burst out from the cabin of a Boeing 737 plane belonging to Aero Contractor which had over 100 passengers on board.

According to information gathered, trouble started when the plane, which took off from Port-Harcourt and heading to Lagos airport Tuesday, was struck by the smoke which enveloped the entire cabin, with passengers gasping for breathe.

The incident, it was gathered started about 40 minutes into the flight and continued till the aircraft landed at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, which was another 20 minutes.

While the reason for the incident could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report, it was gathered that electrical fault could be the reason.

The smoke was first spotted by one of the passengers onboard, who immediately called the attention of the cabin crew to it, but the smoke continued till it got to Lagos, despite the efforts of the crew, who could not equally explain where it started.

One of the passengers, who identified himself as Nicholas, revealed that the smoke almost chocked all onboard while many thought the aircraft would eventually crash due to the incident.

Nicholas explained that the smoke filled the plane about 20 minutes before landing at the Lagos Airport, adding that there was a massive panic onboard even among the cabin crew.”

Throughout the incident, all passengers the plane went into serious prayers, according to their faith, while some who could not withstand it broke down emotionally.

According to him, when the aircraft landed, several fire fighters from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) with their fire tenders were onground to prevent what would have been another catastrophy in the industry.

“We all turned to prayer warriors. Nobody knew the cause of the heavy smoke onboard. But, the smoke was first spotted by a passenger who immediately notified the cabin crew. Immediately the cabin crew were notified, they informed the pilots who kept silent and refused to tell us the cause of the smoke. The only time the crew spoke was when the aircraft was about to land in Lagos and they told us to fasten our seatbelts.

“In fact, it was by God’s grace that we are all alive today because we could all have died onboard, but I thank God that I’m alive to tell the story,” Nicholas added.

Reacting to the incident, the airline’s management promised to get to the root of the thick smoke that enveloped its Port-Harcourt/Lagos bound aircraft.

The airline though did not deny the incident but commended the flight crew for displaying professionalism in handling the situation.

A statement from the airline read: “Unlike the stories being spread on social media, the management of Aero has explained that flight NG316, which departed Port Harcourt airport on April 18, 2017 at 1608GMT, enroute Lagos, with 52 adults +1 infant on board. They also commended the Pilot and the entire crew for the professionalism they displayed in handling the situation.

“There have been different accounts of the incidents with some claiming that the smoke came from the baggage compartment while others allude to all manner of unverified claims. But the management of Aero said it regrets any inconveniences the incident might have caused its esteemed passengers and assured it will get to the root cause of the matter.

“Although the Management led by Captain Ado Sanusi, Chief Executive Officer of Aero, has ordered full scale investigation into the incident, preliminary reports has it that at 1645 GMT about 75NM to Lagos at 24,00ft, the cabin crew observed that the cabin was misty. This was reported to the Captain, who briefed the passengers accordingly assuring them of a safe landing in Lagos in a couple of minutes.

“Expectedly as announced by the pilot, normal descent was initiated into Lagos.  While descending however, a passenger went into the lavatory, after which the lavatory smoke detector alarm came on. The cabin crew again reported this incident to the Captain and by this time the smoke was getting denser in the cabin.

“Ready and armed with “Aft Cargo Smoke” indication in the flight deck, the crew carried out the smoke dispersal procedures and contacted air traffic control at 1655GMT, requesting for emergency support services and proceeded to Lagos, which is the airport with the full complement of emergency support. At this stage again, the cabin crew reassured the passengers and handed out wet towels to them as a precautionary measure for such incidents.

“The Captain also announced to the passengers to be calm as the smoke in question did not present any irritation or discomfort. The aircraft landed at 1703 GMT without any incident. Although the company engineers had carried out the routine systems checks, and reported all normal, Capt. Sanusi who has also reported the incident to the appropriate authorities in the country said another round of thorough investigation was ongoing.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has begun investigation into the smoke in an Aero Contractors aircraft enroute Lagos from Port Harcourt.

Mr Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA,  confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.

NAN reports that the Aero Contractors flight NG316 was engulfed in smoke about 20 minutes after take off,  causing panic among the passengers.

The situation prompted the deploying of fire fighting trucks to the Murtala Mohammed Airport 2, Lagos, to curtail any fire when the plane carrying 52 adults and one infant finally landed.

Adurogboye told NAN that the NCAA had been notified of the incident,  adding that the aircraft was immediately grounded for investigations.

“Our team of investigators are currently working to find out what caused the smoke because that is part of the responsibility of the NCAA,” he said.

Similarly, the media consultant to Aero Contractors, Mr Simon Tumba, confirmed that the airline’s management, led by Capt. Ado Sanusi, had ordered for full scale investigation into the incident.

Tumba, in a statement on Wednesday, said the management also commended the pilot and the entire crew for the professionalism they displayed in handling the situation.

“There have been different accounts of the incidents with some claiming that the smoke came from the baggage compartment while other allude to all manner of unverified claims.

“But the management of Aero said it regrets any inconveniences the incident might have caused its esteemed passengers and assured it will get to the root cause of the matter, “he said.

According to him, preliminary reports has it that at 1645 GMT about 75NM to Lagos at 24,000ft, the cabin crew observed that the cabin was misty.

He said this was reported to the captain, who briefed the passengers accordingly, assuring them of a safe landing in Lagos in a couple of minutes.

“Expectedly as announced by the pilot, normal descent was initiated into Lagos.  While descending however, a passenger went into the lavatory, after which the lavatory smoke detector alarm came on.

“The cabin crew again reported this incident to the Captain and by this time the smoke was getting denser in the cabin.

“Ready and armed with “Aft Cargo Smoke” indication in the flight deck, the crew carried out the smoke dispersal procedures and contacted air traffic control at 1655GMT, requesting for emergency support services and proceeded to Lagos, which is the airport with the full complement of emergency support.

” At this stage again, the cabin crew reassured the passengers and handed out wet towels to them as a precautionary measure for such incidents,” Tumba said.

He said the captain also announced to the passengers to be calm as the smoke in question did not present any irritation or discomfort.

Tumba said the aircraft landed at 1703 GMT and the company engineers had carried out the routine systems checks, and reported all normal.

He added that the management of the airline reported the incident to the appropriate authorities in the country and another round of thorough investigation was ongoing.

loading...