21st February, 2021
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
The names of five of the seven people on board the ill-fated Beechcraft King Air B350i Nigeria Air Force plane that crashed on Sunday in Abuja have been identified.
The plane, en route Minna in Niger State crashed close to the runway of the Abuja airport after reporting engine failure, with the seven people on board reported dead.
Five of the seven names have been released.
The names of five of the deceased are: Flt Lt Gadzama, Flt Lt Piyo, Flg Offr Okpara, FS Olawumi and ACM Johnson.
The names of the remaining crew members were still being awaited.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika had disclosed on Twitter earlier on that the aircraft reported engine failure en route Minna, Niger state.
According to him, the crash was fatal and the numbers of casualties are yet to be released.
He urged that Nigerians remain calm and pray for the departed souls if any.
But Air Vice Marshall Ibikunle Daramola, spokesperson for the Air Force confirmed the crash of the military plane and the number of fatalities in a tweet on Sunday afternoon, saying seven people died in the crash.
He also confirmed that the plane crashed while returning to the Abuja Airport after reporting engine failure enroute Minna, the capital of Niger State.
He added that first responders are at the scene on the incident while the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Amao has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.
He tweeted, “This is to confirm that a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft crashed while returning to the Abuja Airport after reporting engine failure enroute Minna. First responders are at the scene. Sadly, all 7 personnel on board died in the crash
“@CAS_IOAmao has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident. While urging the general public to remain calm & await the outcome of investigation, the CAS, on behalf of all NAF personnel, commiserates with the families of the deceased.”
The crashed plane is one of the two Beechcraft planes in the fleet of the Air Force.
The second one is used for reconnaissance only.