Yesterday, a scene of chaos unfolded at Oba Akran, Ikeja, Lagos State, as a light single-engine turbo 5N-CCQ crashed onto a major road and immediately caught fire.
The incident took place near the AP Filling Station and a commercial bank, occurring around 1:41 pm local time. The ill-fated J4 30 aircraft was equipped with a piston engine and carried a pilot and three passengers on board, reportedly foreigners who were conducting a test run of the aircraft.
The crash caused panic among motorists and commuters, leading to heavy traffic congestion in the area and surrounding roads. However, brave members of the community quickly responded to the emergency and managed to rescue the occupants before official rescue teams arrived.
An eyewitness, Stanley Mohawa, shared his account of the incident, explaining how they retrieved the occupants from the burning wreckage while trying to prevent the fire from escalating and threatening nearby facilities such as the filling station and gas plant.
Another anonymous eyewitness from the Anifowose community revealed that two of the aircraft’s occupants were rescued and taken to the hospital. However, due to the aircraft’s composition, which was mainly made of fiber and not iron, most of the documents on board were destroyed, leaving only the engine intact.
According to information from the control tower at Lagos airport, the aircraft belonged to Air First Hospital and Tour. They crashed from a height of 1500 feet shortly after departing from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA. The source mentioned that the South African-made Javir plane was attempting an emergency landing but hit a light pole during the maneuver.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) stated that it had limited information on the cause of the accident and directed inquiries to the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), which has launched an investigation.
Commending the promptness of the rescue team, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos Command, CP Idowu Owohunwa, assured that the scene would be secured for further examination by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).
The Southwest Coordinator of the Nigeria Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye, also praised the timely response of the local community in assisting with the rescue operation.
Meanwhile, Air Peace, a Nigerian airline, has denied any connection to the crashed aircraft, clarifying that they do not operate helicopters and that none of their aircraft was involved in the incident.
Governor Bababjide Sanwo-Olu visited the scene to express his sympathy to the victims and encouraged residents to cooperate with emergency responders.
The NSIB has initiated an inquest into the accident and called on the public to provide any relevant evidence that might aid the comprehensive investigation.
As the situation unfolds, authorities and investigators continue their efforts to determine the cause of the crash and gather more information about the incident.