Up to 50 passengers were promply and safely evacuated after another air disaster was averted when the tyres of an aircraft belonging to Dana Airlines caught fire shortly before take off.
Blueprint gathered that no life was lost and no passenger was injured as first responders including operatives of the fire service at the airport moved in to control the situation.
The airplane was scheduled to take off from Port Harcourt International Airport enroute Lagos, when the incident occurred, after initial delays in which the airline operators had reportedly told the passengers that their flight would be delayed due to bad weather.
A press statement, Tuesday morning, Dana Air spokesman, Kingsley Ezenwa, said the aircraft had been grounded pending the conclusion of their investigations.
According to the statement, “Our aircraft with registration number 5N JOY operating flight 9J 344 from Port Harcourt to Lagos on 2nd of May 2022, was set to take off when the pilot in command noticed an anomaly which he queried with the Air Traffic Control before embarking on a ramp return in line with our strict safety operating procedures
“However, the impact on the brakes as a result of the aborted take off affected the aircraft tyres which sparked off while the aircraft was taxiing to repark.
“All 50 passengers onboard the aircraft disembarked safely and our maintenance team have immediately grounded the aircraft pending the conclusion of their investigations. Once again, we sincerely apologize to all the passengers on the flight for the inconveniences caused due to the eventual cancellation of the flight.”
In 2012, a Dana Air Md-83 aircraft crashlanded at Iju area shortly before reaching the Lagos airport, killing all the 153 passengers on board, at a period the Nigerian civil airspace was experiencing what appeared an epidemic in air disasters.