15 killed after passenger plane crashes near Nigeria airport
Fifteen people were killed Thursday when a passenger plane crashed near an airport in Nigeria’s largest city, authorities said.
The Nigeria National Emergency Management Agency said that the aircraft crashed after taking off from Lagos. It had been bound for the city of Akure, about 170 miles away.
“The plane couldn’t lift properly so it just came down,” Aviation Ministry spokesman Joe Obi told the agency.
Witness Henrie Eduozor told NBC News he was on his way to the airport in Lagos when he saw smoke rising from a nearby field. He said people ran toward the scene screaming “There’s been a crash!”
Eduozo saw three bodies being removed from the wreckage.
Airports Authority general manager Yakubu Dati told a news conference the Embraer 120 plane with 20 passengers on board, inclusive of crew, came down 9.32 a.m. local time (4:32 a.m. ET).
“Five people survived,” he added. “We have recovered the black box.”
Several local radio stations and Channels TV reported that it was carrying a family and the body of former governor of Ondo state Olusegun Agagu to his funeral.
Air crashes are relatively common in Nigeria, which despite having Africa’s second-biggest economy has a poor safety record.
Murtala Muhammed International Airport was the scene of a June 2012 crash that killed 163 people.