Saturday, July 30, 2011

Helicopter crew feared dead in early morning crash

The crew members of an unidentified helicopter were feared killed on Friday morning on Oke Obanla Hill in Ikonifin village, Osun State.

Son of the head, Fulani community in Ikonifin, Ola-Oluwa Local Government Area, Mr. Abubakar Adamu, who confirmed the development, said the helicopter hit a large hill in the Osun State Government Reserve.

He said, “Helicopters are not a common sight in Ikonifin; so, when we saw the helicopter and heard the sound, everybody was apprehensive, thinking that it could fall down. It was making a very loud sound.

“It was around 9 am and it was very foggy. The helicopter’s noise persisted and all of a sudden, we heard a loud bang and the noise subsided. The helicopter’s visibility might have been affected by the fog.

“The helicopter must have hit the hill. The hill is very high. It is a reserve, where hunters hunt games.”

Adamu said his father informed the traditional ruler of Ikonifin about the development, adding that the crashed helicopter and its occupants had been found.

“People were afraid to go in search of the helicopter because they felt they would be arrested or accused of plotting the crash. Later in the day, some people went into the reserve but they have not been able to locate the helicopter,” he said.

Osun State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Solomon Olusegun, in a telephone interview, said the police rescue team would be dispatched to comb the reserve.

Head of Operation, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Osun State Command, Mr. Olaniyi Babalola, said his men were on the way to the scene of the incident.

He said, “We have been informed of the crash and we are on the way to the scene. We must get to the spot of the crash this night, no matter what.

“We learnt that about 10km to the spot, there was no accessibility. But we are going in and we will get to the spot.”

The Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Dr. Harold Demuren, at about 8 pm on Friday, said the helicopter had not been found.

Demuren, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, said that the helicopter, which left Maryland, Lagos, was heading for Ilorin, Kwara State .  Read More

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