Saturday, July 30, 2011
Helicopter Crashes in Osun State, Killing 4 Persons!
Those on board were Mrs. Josephine Oluwadam-ilola Kuteyi, the managing director of Josepdam Group of companies, her Personal Assistant, and another passenger and the pilot, a Filipino.
Sources said the helicopter that left Lagos for Ilorin at about 12 pm disappeared minutes after taking off and the company operating it, OAS Helicopters, immediately made frantic efforts to locate its whereabouts.
Eventually, the air traffic control in Lagos got a call from around Osogbo about the crash.
A Fulani herdsman who was around when the accident occurred at Oke Obala told Thisday that he was watching over his cattle when he suddenly heard a loud bang and saw billowing smoke afterwards.
He opined that the accident might not be unconnected with the foggy nature of the area because of the rocks that dot the village.
The Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren , who confirmed the incident, said the regulatory body had sent a search and rescue team accompanied by the woman who claimed to have heard the noise of the crash.
Demuren said: "A helicopter left its Lagos Maryland terminal to Ilorin with three souls in addition to the captain and has not been seen since. We have sent a search and rescue team with the woman who claimed to have heard the crash noise to the area and we are holding vigil in our office.
Head of Operation of the Osun State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr Olaniyi Babalola confirmed that it has received the report of the accident and has deployed a team to the area.
A source at NEMA said the agency has confirmed the location of the crash after more than six hours of search at Ife Odan village in the state.
A police inspector identified simply as Victor assisted the NEMA rescue team at the site of the crash in a forest.
NEMA officials from Abuja and Lagos office including local volunteers are at the area pending the arrival of the agency's extractive truck to evacuate the bodies and vital parts of the aircraft.