LAGOS, Nigeria – A passenger plane struck a three-story apartment building in Nigeria’s largest city of Lagos on Sunday, killing all 153 passengers on board, an official said.
The official spoke Sunday on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the press. He said they were trying to get an official manifest on the flight. Sometimes flights in Nigeria issue paper tickets and don’t record all passengers via computer.
The plane did not to appear to have nose-dived into the building, but seemed to have landed on its belly.
It first crashed through a furniture shop and then into residential buildings next to the workshop in this densely packed neighbourhood.
Fire still smoldered everywhere as a group of men stood atop the landing gear that was smoking and took pictures with their mobile phones.
Firefighters tried to put out the smoldering flames of a jet engine and carried at least one corpse from the building that continued to crumble. Thousands of people looked on.
Two firetrucks and about 50 rescue personnel were at the site about an hour after the plane went down. A military helicopter flew overhead.
The Dana Air flight was taking passengers from Lagos to Abuja, said Harold Denuren, head of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. The plane went down in clear and sunny weather.
The Nigerian government said it also now has full radar coverage of the entire nation. However, in a nation where the state-run electricity company is in tatters, state power and diesel generators sometimes both fail at airports, making radar screens go blank.
Officials opened an investigation into the crash Sunday. Civil Aviation chief said no survival from plane crash was reported.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared three days of national mourning after the plane crash.