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Obasanjo to visit crash site

Posted by Sapa-AFP on 2005/10/27 | Views: 617 |

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Obasanjo to visit crash site


Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo is due to visit the site where a Boeing 737 plane crashed last weekend, killing all 117 people on board, officials said.

ABUJA - Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo is due to visit the site where a Boeing 737 plane crashed last weekend, killing all 117 people on board, officials said.

Obasanjo, who is mourning the death of his wife, Stella, will be accompanied to the site in Lissa village on the northern outskirts of Lagos by ministers and top government officials, they said.

A short interdenominational memorial service will be held at the site, which was being cleared to allow recovery of the plane that plunged to the ground shortly after taking off from Lagos airport on Saturday.

An investigation has been launched to find out why the Bellview Airlines Boeing crashed, Obasanjo told the nation in a broadcast.

While the nation awaits the outcome of the investigation and amid speculation over the cause of the crash, police Inspector General Sunday Ehindero said that the plane must have exploded.

"There appears to have been an explosion judging from the crater created by the impact" on landing, Ehindero said in an interview on television.

Obasanjo received condolence messages from Mali, Indonesia and the United Nations over the victims of the crash, an official statement said.

Meanwhile, the body of the president's wife lay in state here at a public ceremony attended by ministers, diplomats, top government officials, relations and hundreds of sympathisers.

The ceremony was broadcast live on national television.

She will be buried on Saturday at the president's family compound in the southwestern city of Abeokuta, according to an official programme.

She died on Sunday morning in Spain after undergoing plastic surgery and an autopsy was carried out but the findings were not revealed.

According to hospital sources quoted by Spanish media she appeared to have gone into an "advanced state of shock" during surgery at a private clinic and did not recover.

Sapa-AFP

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