As the remains of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru and other top military officers killed in the Friday plane crash in Kaduna were laid to rest in Abuja, the site of the crash has been taken over and cordoned off by the military.
Civilians, including members of the management and staff of the Kaduna International Airport, have been prevented from accessing the scene of the accident, which occurred within the Airport’s perimeter fence.
As at the time our Correspondent visited the Airport on Saturday, the arrival of the officials of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) was still being awaited to carry out an investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the crash.
The Nigerian Air Force plane, Beachcraft 350, crashed around 6:00 pm on Friday, killing all the 11 persons on board, including the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru.
Other victims of the crash were; Brig. Gen. Abdurahman Kuliya (Chief of Military Intelligence); Brig Gen MI Abdulkadir (Chief of Staff to the COAS); Brig Gen Olatunji Olayinka (Army Provost Marshal); Maj. L. A. Hayat (ADC to COAS); Maj. Hamza; and the Ordely, Sgt. Umar.
The crew members were Flt. Lt. T. O. Asaniyi; Flt. Lt. A. A. Olufade; Sgt. Adesina; and ACM Oyedepo.
General Attahiru was coming to Kaduna to serve as the Special Guest of Honour and Reviewing Officer at the Passing Out Parade of the Regular Recruits Intakes from Depot Nigerian Army, Zaria.
Speaking to journalists at the Airport on Saturday, Kaduna Airport Manager, Mrs. Amina Ozi Salami said, the aircraft was originally billed to land at the NAF base, Kaduna, but was diverted to the civil airport due to bad weather.
She however pointed that, though the plane crashed right inside the Airport, it did not affect the normal operation of the airport because it did not affect the runway.
She said that scene of the crash had since been taken over and cordoned off by the military.
According to her, “the unfortunate incident happened Friday at about 5:59 pm. We learnt that the aircraft was supposed to land at the Nigerian Air Force Base, but due to bad weather, it was diverted to the civil airport, but unfortunately, it crash-landed probably due to bad weather, we do not have the report yet at the moment.
“The AIB will be coming for an investigation, so I really don’t have enough details to give you now.”
Meanwhile, the Passing Out Parade of the Regular Recruits Intakes billed to hold on Saturday at the Depot Nigerian Army, Zaria was cancelled.