Nigeria mourns crash victims

The hunt is now on for the Boeing 737’s precious flight data recorders to reveal clues to explain how the plane crashed, killing all on board.

Authorities believe that the main body of the plane ploughed into the ground, but some witnesses said the aircraft blew up in mid-air.

The director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority said the 24-year-old plane passed a technical inspection valid for 18 months in February.

The plane also had an additional check just 10 hours before take off.

Nigerian Aviation Minister, Babalola Borisade, said remains of the victims would not be excavated until investigators were finished with the scene.

“We have not found the black box. It’s believed to be inside the body of the aircraft, which is buried under the ground,” he said.

Nigerian police moved to seal off the area in a bid to protect what remains of the evidence ahead of the arrival of accident investigators.

Grim task

Despite this, relatives of the passengers have travelled to the site to try and search for recognisable remains.

Ocha Inedu, a 40-year-old civil engineer, went to the grim scene in a cocoa grove north of Lagos to search for the remains of his younger brother.

“I am here to see if I can at least collect whatever remained of him to take to the village for decent burial,” he said.

Nigerian Red Cross official, Bayo Fasoranti, describes the difficulties that now confront the families.

“It is not possible to get a complete body of any victim. The bodies were scattered all over the place,” he said.

Fears of disease

For village situated nearby the crash, the disaster is not only a traumatic experience, but also a public health danger.

Villager, Sola Ayinla, expressed fear that disease may run rife.

“The stench is becoming unbearable. This may constitute a health hazard,” he said, covering his noise with a handkerchief.

“Apart from clearing the wreckage and the human bodies, the government should disinfect the area,” he said.

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