US: 9 Americans Killed In Nigeria Plane Crash

Posted June 6th, 2012 at 6:20 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States says nine Americans were on the Nigerian passenger plane that crashed Sunday as it approached the airport in Lagos, the nation's largest city.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner confirmed the number of Americans who were on the plane at a regular press briefing Tuesday.

Most of the passengers were Nigerian but, in additon to the Americans, citizens of India, Britain, China, Lebanon, France and Canada were also reported to have been on the airliner.

Authorities say all 153 people on board were killed and at least six more on the ground, when the Dana Airlines flight plowed into a Lagos residential neighborhood nine kilometers from the airport. Several houses were damaged.

Search crews have recovered the plane's flight data and cockpit voice recorders which may shed light on the cause of the crash. Aviation officials say the pilot reported dual engine trouble as he prepared to land.

Local news and bloggers reported Tuesday that the airlines senior managers of Indian nationality have fled the country as Nigerian aviation officials investigate the cause of the crash. Leadership news alleged that the management knew the equipment on the plane was faulty. It also said the residents at the crash site have complained about a bad odor emanating from the wreckage and cited health concerns of those who inhaled it.

The deadly crash of a Nigerian passenger plane is renewing concerns about aviation safety in Nigeria and the rest of West Africa. Authorities say they have suspended indefinitely the airline's license to fly.

But an airline official said Wednesday the carrier respects the rules and that its aircraft are properly maintained.

Dana Airlines is a domestic air carrier that operates a fleet of Boeing MD-83 aircraft for the hourlong flight from Abuja to Lagos.