The number of deaths in Friday’s helicopter crash in Lagos has risen to three. Initial report from the scene of the mid-day crash by an official of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA indicated that two people died on the spot while a third passenger, said to be in critical condition, was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit, ICU of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH. He was however confirmed dead hours after thus bringing the number of deaths to three, including the pilot of the ill-fated helicopter.
The Bell 206 helicopter operated by Quorum Aviation, which was said to have been conveying a passenger from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to Lagos, crashed into a residential building at No. 16, Salvation Road, Opebi in Lagos after running into trouble in the air barely a few minutes to landing at the local wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport. An eye-witness said it hovered in the air for about 15 minutes before crashing into an open space in a residential building destroying a vehicle and the concrete fence. There was no ground casualty.
Meanwhile, messages of condolences have been pouring in for the Lagos State Government and families of the three victims. The President, Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with families, friends, and associates of the unfortunate victims. A statement issued in Abuja by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said “While the nation awaits report of investigation into the accident by aviation regulatory agencies, the President prays that God will console the bereaved families, grant peace to the souls of the dead, and speedy recovery for the injured.”
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who also commiserated with families, friends and associates of the victims of the crash, promised in a message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile that his government would work with all the relevant Federal Government agencies to unravel the remote and immediate cause of the accident so as to prevent a reoccurrence in the future. The governor urged residents of Opebi and its surrounding to go about their business peacefully.
Sanwo-Olu said “There is nothing to fear as men and officers of the state emergency services were promptly deployed to the scene of the crash and they have brought everything under control,” stressing that the environment was also safe and secure. He prayed God would grant the deceased eternal rest and grant the families they left behind the fortitude the bear the irreplaceable losses.
On his part, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) sympathised with families, relatives, and friends of those who lost their lives in the helicopter crash. His condolence was contained in a statement issued in Lagos by his media aide, Tunde Rahman.
The former Lagos State governor called on the aviation authorities to investigate the cause of the crash, even as he prayed that God would console the families of the victims and grant the deceased eternal rest.
The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki also condoled with his Lagos State counterpart and the people of the state over the unfortunate helicopter crash. Obaseki, in a statement in Benin, commiserated with the family, friends, and associates of the dead victims.
According to him, “I condole with the government and people of Lagos State over the unfortunate helicopter crash in the Ikeja axis of the state, which claimed two lives. Our prayers are with the families of the departed soul and we pray God grants them the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.
“I send condolences to Governor Sanwo-Olu and his team, who are doing everything possible to manage the situation and bring comfort to the families of the deceased.”