An Embraer passenger plane with 27 people onboard crashed shortly after take-off at Lagos airport’s domestic terminal on Thursday and at least five people were killed, authorities and a Reuters reporter said.
Aviation Ministry spokesman Joe Obi said there were some survivors from the Associated Airlines plane, which was flying from Nigeria’s commercial capital to Akure, a southwestern town about 140 miles away, with seven crew and 20 passengers.
A Reuters witness saw the plane was labeled Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante. Embraer is a Brazilian aircraft-maker.
“The plane couldn’t lift properly so it just came down,” Obi said. “Some persons are being rushed to hospital. A few dead bodies have been recovered, but there are survivors.”
Yakubu Dati, coordinating general manager of Nigeria’s airports authority, told Reuters on the scene that at least five passengers had been killed.
“The plane was making a lot of noise before it came down,” said witness Rasheed Olajide, an engineer working at the airport. “It appeared to reverse back to avoid crashing into the residential area. It came down at a 45 degree angle.”
Several local radio stations and Channels TV reported that the plane was carrying a family and the body of former governor of Ondo state Olusegun Agagu to his funeral. A Reuters witness saw emergency workers bring out a coffin from the wreckage.
“There’s a lot of smoke coming from the runway. There are fire-fighters rushing to the scene,” Rasaki Rhakod, who runs a car service around the airport, told Reuters.
Air crashes are relatively common in Nigeria, which despite having Africa’s second-biggest economy has a poor safety record.
In June last year, 163 people died when a Dana Air plane crashed into a Lagos apartment block in the country’s worst airline disaster in two decades.