An Associated airlines plane crashed on Thursday morning, killing at least 15 people, just minutes after taking off at the Murtala Muhammed International in Lagos, southwestern Nigeria, aviation authorities said.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, said in a statement that five persons survived the crash which occurred at 9.32 am.
The propeller aircraft marked 5N-BJY crashed on its way Akure, the Ondo State Capital with 20 passengers on board, authorities said. It was not clear if that figure included crew members.
“We confirm today the crash of an Embraer 120 (plane) belonging to Associated airlines,” the statement read.
“The rescue operation commenced immediately with all the relevant agencies moving enmasse to the crash site,” FAAN said.
Authorities said the black box of the crashed plane has been found and some survivors were already being treated at the hospital.
“We call on the public to shun unconfirmed reports by avoiding speculation that could mar investigations into the crash,” FAAN said.
Our correspondent at the scene could not identify the bodies from the wreckage. There was smoke everywhere and the stench from the scene was heavy.
The Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, did not know what caused the plane. Tunji Oketunbi, AIB spokesperson said investigators have been deployed to the scene.
The plane was said to have been chartered to convey to Akure the casket of the former governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Agagu, who died in Lagos on 13 September, 2013.
Sir Whyte (Obed Witten)