by ‘Jola Sotubo
Yesterday’s plane crash, which involved an Associated Airlines carrier containing 20 people and the body of former Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Agagu, has caused reactions all around the world.
For some people however, those reactions are more personal as they witnessed the crash and its aftermath firsthand.
One of the eye witnesses was identified as Mathew Babatunde, an airport taxi driver. Mr. Babatunde reportedly saw the plane flying so low that he thought it would crash on his car.
The Nation reports:
Mr. Babatunde said: “I thought the plane would crash on my car. I was just passing by the toll gate when I saw the aircraft coming down.
“It came down so low and looking at it, I felt it would hit my car. My passengers immediately shouted at me to move the car.
“ I saw the plane struggling but until it hit a mango tree and crashed. The tree is behind the Sahara Tank Farm.
“Immediately the plane hit the tree, it cut into two and a huge ball of fire was kindled. It took about 20 minutes before ambulance came and another 40 minutes before the Fire Service arrived at the scene.
“Those around, including Air Force men, and other Nigerians were helping to rescue the victims.
“I counted seven bodies instantly. I also saw them bring out two children who were still alive, I doubt if they would survive it because they looked badly injured.”
Another eye witness, Mrs. Chidinma Nwoke, who was sobbing, said: “I have never seen this kind of thing before. I was among the first people that came here. We tried to help the victims but the soldiers and airport officials refused.
“They said it is dangerous and that we were not wearing safety boots.
“It is horrible. I saw a woman who tried to jump out but she got hooked on the fence and she died there. The fire consumed most of them, including one man who was almost getting out. That man would have been alive if the Fire Services were on ground early enough.
“He was almost out of the aircraft but the fire caught his trousers and that was how he got burnt.