On the evening of Friday September 13 2013, it was reported that former Governor of Ondo state Dr Olusegun Agagu was dead. According to information made available to the media by his family, he was at a meeting on Lagos mainland, where he slumped. Subsequently, he was rushed to a private hospital in Yaba but was transferred to the Military Hospital, Ikoyi, where he was pronounced dead.
In the aftermath of his death, the Ondo State Government announced a seven-day mourning period in the state in honour of the late Agagu and also said that it was organizing a state burial for the ex-governor beginning with a tribute session at the University of Ibadan where he previously lectured before venturing into politics on Monday September 30, while the burial was slated for Friday October 4th 2013 (today). The body of the former governor was to be received at the Akure Airport on Thursday (yesterday) for lying-in –state ceremony which was billed for the same day.
It was in fulfillment of this arrangement that the Embraer 120 jet belonging to Associated Airlines a passenger and cargo service operator which was established in 1996 with its main base at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, was chartered. The plane was first bought by Britt Airlines on March 23, 1990 and was flown for six years in the country by the airline before Thursday’s accident.
The full list of people who boarded the plane alongside Dr. Agagu’s corpse is as follows;
Mrs. E.O. Alabi
Flight Officer Oyinlola
Engr. Saroh Elaiye
Flight Dispatcher Ibrahim
Mr. Felix Tatoye
Cabin Attendant Owolabi
Cabin Attendant Samson
The plane took off from the Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos at about 9:00am but shortly after developed an engine problem with reports saying that the pilot attempted to return to the airport. This effort however proved futile as the plane crashed about 800 metres away from the airport at the tank farm of Sahara Group.
The plane broke into two with its cockpit compartment seriously burnt, while the remaining part that included the luggage compartment was slightly burnt.
Credits: Channels TV
In the immediate aftermath of the crash, relevant security and emergency agencies such as the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, the Police, Federal Road Safety Corps, Red Cross and the Lagos State Fire Service, were present to carry out rescue operations.
Others included the Nigerian Air Force personnel and officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority.
An emergency response centre was also set up at the NCAA medical conference room.
Six passengers were confirmed to have survived the crash and these are;
Feyi Agagu, Son Of The Late Ex-Governor Survived The Crash
The Accident Investigation Bureau confirmed the recovery of the two black boxes of the plane. While full investigation into the cause of the accident has commenced.
The casket was also recovered by rescue agencies intact save for a few dents made by the impact of the crash.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed, has said that the government would perform an autopsy on those that died in the crash before releasing their remains to their families.
Crowd At The Crash Site
While the rescue operation was on-going, a few hoodlums were seen to be engaged in scuffles as they contested the sharing formula of the loot which they allegedly got from ransacking the remains of the plane and the surrounding crash site.
Despite these, the Agagu family has confirmed that the burial would go on as scheduled at Saint Paul’s Anglican church, Iju-Odo, Ondo State, even as a member of the family said that the family was warned of an impending calamity before the crash which prompted them to organize special prayers culminating in a vigil which ended on Thursday morning (the day of the accident).
We wish the families of the bereaved comfort and that the souls of the dead finally rest in peace.
Share via LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ & Facebook. Leave your views in comments box below.