Military plane crashes close to runway in Nigeria

A military charter plane crashed on Sunday close to the runway in Abuja, Nigeria.

Unverified video showed fire and smoke at the scene and emergency crews using water cannons to douse the area.

Nigeria’s aviation minister, Hadi Sirika, said the incident involved a twin-turboprop King Air 350 aircraft which “crashed short of our Abuja runway after reporting engine failure enroute Minna”.

He said the crash “appears to be fatal” but urged people to “remain calm & wait for the outcome of investigation by the military, while we pray for the departed soul/souls if any”.

Nigeria’s Arise News reported that six people were onboard the Nigerian Air Force aircraft – including two crew.

After reporting an engine failure shortly after departure the 11-seater crashed on the final approach path of Abuja’s runway 22.

Africa’s largest economy has seen a series of air accidents in recent decades.

In 2012, 163 people died when a Dana Air plane crashed into a Lagos apartment block in the country’s worst airline disaster in 20 years.

However Nigeria has a Category 1 rating under the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) International Aviation Safety Assessment programme, meaning the country complies with globally accepted safety standards.

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