66 passengers cheat death at Ilorin Airport

...It's tyre burst, no casualty - FAAN

By Mike Adeyemi

No fewer than sixty-six passengers escaped death penultimate Friday as an aircraft in the fleet of Air Peace got its tyre busted shortly after landing at the Ilorin International Airport, National Pilot learnt.

The development was allegedly forced airlines operators to cancel their operations on Friday and Saturday because no plane can land nor take-off from the runway of the airport until the busted tyre is replaced.

The incident also left so many passengers who were waiting to board the Air Peace flight to Lagos at 11am on Friday stranded.

Speaking with our reporter via telephone call yesterday, the Head of Corporate Affair s, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Adeyeoluwa Olukayode debunked report of plane crash at the Airport.

According to him, ‘contrary to what is in the public domain, there was no any issue of plane crash at Ilorin International Airport, but a technical issue.’

“It was an issue of a tyre burst involving Air Peace. No casualty, no injury. All the passengers alighted safely. After passengers disengaged, the tire had been changed.

“The aircraft have been evacuated from the active runway of the airport. Three other aircraft operated yesterday. Air Peace, Arik and Overland operated today. What happened at the Airport at times occurred in the industry as there was nothing happened outside that,” Adeyeoluwa said.

He added that the regulatory body in charge of accident investigation had earlier issued an official statement on the issue, saying FAAN coordinates the running of the airport, while NCAA regulates the entire flight operations process and certification as AIB manages accident related issues within the industry.

“The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) had issued official statement on what happened at the Airport. FAAN is just a landlord who manages the Airport.

“Our own duty is to coordinate how airport should run effectively. AIB is saddled to monitor and satisfy aircraft in terms of technicality,” the head of Corporate Affairs stressed.

Meanwhile, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), of the airport in a press release signed by its General Manager, Tunji Oketumbi, affirmed the incident.

The press release read in part:

“This is to confirm an incident involving Air Peace B 737 – 500 with registration marks 5N – BQR that occurred Friday in Ilorin at about 10:30 am local time.

“There were 66 passengers and 6 crew onboard. AIB safety investigation did an evacuation of the occurrence and decided not to investigate.

“The aeroplane has been released to the operator (Air Peace). The delay in opening the airport is due to the recovery of the aeroplane from the runway by FAAN and Air Peace. The aeroplane had a busted tire on landing roll,” the statement affirmed.

Similarly, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), had issued a statement to debunk the alleged plan crash at the Airport.

“The attention of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has been drawn to al report making the rounds that an aircraft with belonging to Air Peace B737-500 with Registration Mark 5N-BQR was involved in a crash in Ilorin, yesterday.

“The Authority wishes to state categorically that there is no air accident in Nigeria involving Air Peace or any airlines.

“As a matter of fact, the said aircraft which departed from Abuja successfully landed in Ilorin. It only experienced tyre bust in the course of taxing.

“Meanwhile, all the 66 passengers and 6 crew members onboard were disembarked without any issues whatsoever on the same day being the 23rd of July, 2021”.

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