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No survivors in Nigeria plane crash: Red Cross

Posted by AFP/Reuters on 2005/10/23 | Views: 860 |

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No survivors in Nigeria plane crash: Red Cross


A Nigerian airliner has crashed 300 kilometres further south than first thought, the country's Information Minister says, in a bizarre twist 18 hours after the jet lost contact with air traffic control.

A Nigerian airliner has crashed 300 kilometres further south than first thought, the country's Information Minister says, in a bizarre twist 18 hours after the jet lost contact with air traffic control.


"The latest information now is that the incident occurred near Ifo in Ogun State. All the relevant agencies are heading there for the rescue operation," Information Minister Frank Nweke told AFP, correcting an earlier statement that the plane came down in Kishi in Oyo State.


Meanwhile, the Red Cross says there are no traces of any survivors at the crash site of the plane.


"The plane is still burning. I can't confirm if there are any survivors, but there is no trace so far. The rescuers saw charred bodies," Red Cross general secretary Abiodun Orebiyi told Reuters.


The Boeing 737-200 was believed to be carrying some senior Nigerian officials as well as a US consular official and some European passengers.


"The plane was totally destroyed - it was scattered everywhere," Mr Orebiyi said.


Nigerian television channel AIT had reported one of its crews had found the crashed plane in the village of Lissa, a short distance outside Ifo, which is itself not far outside Lagos, from where the Boeing 737 took off at 7.50pm on Saturday local time with 116 people on board.


The station showed images taken at the alleged crash site which showed bodies, a flight ticket and what appeared to be part of the jet's tail.


Lagos control tower lost touch with the plane just three minutes after it left the city bound for the capital Abuja on a flight path that would take it over Lissa, airline officials say.


Mr Nweke offered no explanation for the discrepancies in the information.


Earlier, a spokesman for Oyo State, Adeola Oloko, had also said that the jet had crashed in Kishi.


Following Mr Nweke's update Mr Oloko confirmed that he had been mistaken.


Mr Oloko had also said that half of the passengers were still alive and that an emergency rescue operation had been launched.


It was not immediately clear whether this information still held true, although the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) confirmed that one of its officials had survived.


- AFP/Reuters


 

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