Dana Air Flight 992
5N-RAM, the aircraft involved in the accident, seen here in Murtala Muhammed International Airport in 2009.
|Date||3 June 2012|
|Summary||Impacted building following dual engine loss on approach to land|
|Fatalities||163 (including 10 on the ground)|
|Aircraft type||McDonnell Douglas MD-83|
|Flight origin||Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria|
|Destination||Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria|
Dana Air Flight 992 was a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft making a scheduled commercial passenger flight from Abuja to Lagos, Nigeria. On Sunday, 3 June 2012, the aircraft crashed into a furniture works and printing press building in the Iju-Ishaga neighbourhood of Lagos. The crash, believed to have been caused by dual engine failure and subsequent forced landing, resulted in the deaths of all 153 people on board and ten more on the ground.
The incident, which had the highest amount of aviation fatalities in 2012, is the deadliest involving a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 and the second-deadliest involving a McDonnell Douglas MD-80 in general behind Inex-Adria Aviopromet Flight 1308. It is also the second-deadliest plane crash on Nigerian soil, behind only the Kano air disaster.
The aircraft was a twin-engined MD-83, registered in Nigeria as 5N-RAM. It was a former Alaska Airlines aircraft (N944AS) built in 1990 and acquired by Dana Air in February 2009. The airframe accumulated 60,846 hours of total flight time since new. The left and right engines had 54,322 and 26,025 hours of total flight time since new, respectively. The last maintenance on the aircraft was performed 1 June 2012, two days before the accident.
The accident occurred after the crew reported engine trouble and declared an emergency 11 nautical miles (20 km) from the airport. The MD-83 then crashed into a crowded neighbourhood near the airport, apparently landing on its tail and causing a large fire.
The crash scene reportedly became chaotic, with The Sun reporting that thousands of Lagos residents attempted to approach the site. Crowds attempted to bring hoses to the site while soldiers attempted to disperse onlookers with punches and rubber whips. The onlookers then threw stones at the soldiers in retaliation. Water for firefighting was scarce for several hours due to the city's shortage of fire trucks, and civilians attempted to fight the fire by hand with water from plastic buckets. Water trucks commandeered from nearby construction projects had difficulties reaching the site due to the neighbourhood's narrow roads.
Access to the site was initially limited by the fire and crowds, and later by strong winds and heavy rain. Rescuers also expressed concern that a damaged three-story apartment building might collapse on the crash site.
The Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee was set up by the federal government to investigate the accident. Both the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were recovered and handed to Nigeria's Accident Investigation Bureau. Because the aircraft was American-made, the United States National Transportation Safety Board will also have observer status for the investigation.
The FDR was found to have been too heavily damaged in the post-crash fire to yield any information, but half an hour of cockpit voice recording was recovered. The captain reported engine warning lights and then a twin engine failure during the approach, as the landing gear and flaps were extending.
Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan declared three days of national mourning. He noted that the accident had "sadly plunged the nation into further sorrow on a day when Nigerians were already in grief over the loss of many other innocent lives in the church bombing in Bauchi state". Jonathan also pledged that "every possible effort" would be made to boost the nation's aviation safety.
Dana Air set up a 24-hour hotline for relatives to call and added a message to its website reading "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of guests who were involved in the Dana Air mishap. May the souls of the deceased rest in peace".
The Federal Government seized the license and also banned the MD-83 aircraft type used by DANA Air after the crash. They also set up a nine-man technical and administrative panel that will audit all airlines operating in the country. On 5 September 2012, the suspension on Dana Air's operating license was lifted, and the airline started recertification and retraining processes.
- Jon Gambrell (5 June 2012). Time. Associated Press http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2116497,00.html
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