By Benjamin Omoike
LASEMA in a just concluded operation, has recovered the wreckage of a crashed helicopter in Opebi axis of Lagos; even as the third passenger in the ill-fated flight, who was rushed to the hospital, has been confirmed dead
This followed distress calls concerning the privately operated helicopter that crashed into number 16A, Salvation Road, Opebi, Ikeja, leading to the immediate activation of the state’s emergency response plan.
The Bell Helicopter 206B3 belonging to Quorum Aviation Ltd, which crashed at about midday on Friday, has now recorded three fatalities – all male passengers – suffering two fatalities confirmed at the incident scene and taken to the mortuary, with it’s third victim resuscitated and taken to LASUTH for further treatment, but has now been confirmed dead.
The operation, which was coordinated by the DG/CEO LASEMA, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, was supported by the Agency’s Director of Operations, Engineer Akinsanya.
During the operation, all three adult occupants of the Helicopter were extricated through number 16A Salvation Road, Opebi, Lagos, where the cabin crash landed and it’s remains were extracted from. However, the fuselage and tail section of the Helicopter were recovered through number 14, due to the fact that it crashed between both buildings on their separating fence.
Speaking on the incident, Dr Oke-Osanyintolu, who confirmed that the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), had arrived at the scene to retrieve the Black Box of the chopper, stated that, “The agency received distress calls concerning a privately operated helicopter that crashed into 16A Salvation Road, Opebi, Ikeja and immediately activated the emergency response plan.
“The helicopter was carrying three (3) people, one is in the intensive care unit at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital while the other two were killed on impact and their bodies have been deposited in mortuary. We are on top of challenges especially crowd control.
“The Accident Investigation Bureau has retrieved the black box and transported the wreck of the aircraft to their office for further investigations.
“The affected buildings will be subjected to integrity testing while the entire area will be fumigated.
“Members of the public are advised to remain calm and be assured of Mr Governor’s commitment to the safety of life and property within Lagos State. Updates will follow on from the result of the investigation.
The operation, which had LASEMA Response Teams in attendance, also had the Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Engineer Gbamgbose-Martins, the Commisioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Owoseni, alongside the RRS, in attendance.
Also present at the operation that was concluded at about 4.21p.m and had it’s wreckage taken to the Accident Investigation Bureau for further investigation, were the Nigerian Civil Aviation Agency, NCAA, Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB-N, LASAMBUS, LASG Fire Service, FAAN, FRSC and LASTMA.