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UPDATED: COAS, Attahiru, 10 others die after military aircraft crashes in Kaduna

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

A military Beachcraft 350 aircraft reported to be conveying the Chief Of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 others have been confirmed to have crashed on runway of Kaduna International Airport, and killed all occupants onboard.

As gathered, the eight personnel on board the ill-fated aircraft were said to have died few minutes after the plane, arriving from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, crash-landed on the airport runway.

It was learnt that the training aircraft which crashed at about 6 pm on Friday may have suffered poor vision following a downpour experience within this hour across Kaduna State.

The Guild gathered that the officers apparently were in the state ahead of tomorrow’s passing out parade of soldiers from the Nigerian Army Depot in Zaria, Kaduna.

Confirming that the entire passengers on board did not survive, the Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigeria, Akin Olateru, confirmed that the eight souls died onboard, saying Beachcraft 350. 8 souls on board. Unfortunately all dead.

Also, the Chief of Staff to Kaduna State Governor, Mohammed Dattijo, in a short message on his official social media handle, debunked claims that Attahiru’s wife, Fati, was involved in the accident, adding, “It is incorrect; the wife is alive. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace”.

Confirming the crash, the Director of Public Relations and information, Nigerian Airforce, Edward Gabkwet, in a statement made available to newsmen, noted that the accident occurred near the Kaduna International Airport.

Gabkwet, who was silent on the number of personnel on board the ill-fated plane, said that further details would be released after the ongoing investigation.

“An air crash involving a Nigerian AirForce aircraft occurred this evening near the Kaduna International Airport. The immediate cause of the crash is still being ascertained. More details to follow soon”, he added.

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