The House of Representatives yesterday began investigations into the crash of Dana Airplane flight 0992 which occurred at Iju, a Lagos surburb on Sunday, killing all 153 passengers on board.
Also to be probed is the crash of a Nigerian registered Cargo aircraft, Allied Air in Ghana, last Saturday, which killed at least 10 people.
The House yesterday at plenary mandated its committee on Aviation to “exhaustively investigate the immediate and remote causes of the crashes,” as well as to “ascertain the airworthiness of all other operating aircrafts in the country and make appropriate recommendations.”
This followed the adoption of the prayers of a motion brought under matters of urgent National Importance by the Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, Nkirura Onyegeocha.
The lawmaker, while presenting the motion, described the Dana air accident as a major national calamity “deserving of the sorrowful attention and necessary action of this hallowed House.”
She expressed concern that the crashes were coming on the heels of similar crashes involving Bellview Airlines and Sosoliso Airlines in 2005, and Aviation Development Corporation Airline (ADC) in 2006.
Onyejeocha said: “The latest Dana Aircraft crash is even more tragic than the previous ones with a casualty figure reported to be about 190 people, including 153 passengers, 6 crew members and about 37 people on ground and counting.”
She said the Dana crash might be indicative of a greater rot in the aviation industry which could portend more danger ahead.
Her words: “These latest crashes are clear indications of failure and or negligence of relevant regulatory functions in the aviation industry which if unchecked could lead to more devastating air mishaps in the future.”
According to her, the peculiar circumstances leading to the crashes are wake-up calls for relevant authorities to spare no effort in ensuring the nation’s aviation industry conform with the international safety standards.
Many of the lawmakers who contributed to the motion supported it.
A member, Ayo Omidiran (ACN Osun), said the investigation should be thoroughly done to unravel the whole facts behind the incident as the future of the aviation industry is at stake.
But, Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi (PDP Enugu) was more unsparing in his submission on the issue.
According to him, if the fact that the aircraft was not airworthy but was ordered in the air by the management of the airline was true, then Dana management should be charged with mass murder.