The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has released the names of seven of its personnel who died in a military plane crash Sunday.
NAF had earlier confirmed that one of its aircraft, a Beechcraft KingAir B350i (NAF 201), crashed while returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, after reporting engine failure enroute Minna.
The aircraft, it was gathered, was scheduled to conduct surveillance missions over Niger State and its environs “in connection with the concerted efforts to secure the release of the students/staff abducted from the Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State”.
A statement issued Sunday night by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola, gave the names of the deceased personnel as:
- Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain)
- Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot)
- Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System (ATOS) Specialist)
- Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialist)
- Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist)
- Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist)
- Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician)
AVM Daramola said the next-of-kin and family members of the victims of the plane crash have already been informed of the tragic incident. He restated that Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, had instituted an investigative panel to determine the remote and immediate causes of the accident.
Earlier, the CAS visited the scene of the accident, in company of the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd); Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika; Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor and other service chiefs.