…as AIB says ‘we don’t investigate military air crashes’
Nigerian Air Force has confirmed that seven persons aboard a Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft were killed when the military jet crashed in Abuja.
The aircraft, which was on a flight to Minna in Niger State, on Sunday, crashed near the runway of the Abuja airport after reporting engine failure.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, in a statement on Sunday, said Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal IO Amao, has ordered an immediate investigation be launched into the air accident.
According to Daramola, “This is to confirm that a Nigerian Air Force 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.
“The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal IO Amao, has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.
“While urging the general public to remain calm and await the outcome of investigation, the CAS, on behalf of all NAF personnel, commiserates with the families of the deceased.”
Meanwhile, the Accident Investigation Bureau has said that it is not part of its mandate to investigate military incidents or accidents except when invited.
AIB General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr Tunji Oketunbi, said the Bureau was not empowered by law to investigate military air crashes.
“There was an accident involving a military aircraft. By the power established AIB-N, we do not investigate military incidents or accident except where invited,” he said.
But Nigerians on social media, including former Vice President Atiku ABubakar, have continued to expressed sympathy and condolences with the families of NAF personnel who died in the air crash.