Dana Air held a world press conference on Wednesday, at which the airline defended itself against criticism over its safety and maintenance record, stating that its chief engineer died in the crash.
A Dana Air plane crashed on Sunday this week killing all passengers and staff on board the plane and an unknown number of area residents on the ground. Minutes before the crash, the captain sent a mayday message to the air control unit, stating that both engines of the MD-83 tail number 5N-RAM has failed shortly before the plane crashed unto a three-storey building in Iju, Lagos.
According to South African publication Times, Francis Ogboro, an executive who oversees Dana Air, also told journalists that the MD-83 that crashed Sunday underwent strenuous checks like the other planes the carrier owns and that he (Ogboro) routinely flies the plane.
Ogboro also said that the chief engineer “Certainly would not have allowed that aircraft to take off” if there had been any issues. “No airline crew would go on a suicide mission,” Ogboro submitted, emphatically.
Meanwhile, the recovery mission at the site of the crash has been hampered by the rain, poor weather, and lack of equipment, and many of the remains found will only be identifiable by DNA testing. 153 complete remains were recovered.
Officials have begun concerted efforts to identify those declared dead or missing from the crash area. The two apartment buildings, a printing business, and a woodshop which all housed an unknown number of people were destroyed by the plane.
The aviation minister also announced today that the retrieved black box from the crash will be sent to the United States of America for analysis today.