Dana Air Flight 992 disaster
Dana Air Flight 992 was a scheduled domestic commercial passenger flight from Abuja to Lagos, Nigeria. On Sunday, 3 June 2012, the McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft operating the flight crashed into a furniture works and printing press building in the Iju-Ishaga neighbourhood of Lagos. The crash resulted in the deaths of all 153 people on board and 10 more on the ground.
The crash of Flight 992 is the deadliest aviation disaster involving a McDonnell Douglas MD-83, as well as the second-deadliest involving an MD-80 series aircraft, behind Inex-Adria Aviopromet Flight 1308. It is also the second-deadliest aircraft crash on Nigerian soil, behind the Kano air disaster of 1973.
The aircraft was a twin-engined McDonnell Douglas MD-83, registered in Nigeria as 5N-RAM, built in 1990 and acquired by Dana Air in February 2009. The airframe had accumulated 60,846 hours of total flight time since new. The left and right engines had 54,322 and 26,025 hours of total flight time since new, respectively. The last maintenance on the aircraft was performed on 1 June 2012, two days before the accident.
The accident occurred after the crew reported engine trouble and declared an emergency 11 nautical miles (20 km) from the airport. The MD-83 then crashed into a crowded neighbourhood near the airport, apparently landing on its tail and causing a large fire.
The crash scene reportedly became chaotic, with The Sun reporting that thousands of Lagos residents attempted to approach the site. Crowds attempted to bring hoses to the site while soldiers attempted to disperse onlookers with punches and rubber whips. The onlookers then threw stones at the soldiers in retaliation. Water for firefighting was scarce for several hours due to the city's shortage of fire trucks, and civilians attempted to fight the fire by hand with water from plastic buckets. Water trucks commandeered from nearby construction projects had difficulties reaching the site due to the neighbourhood's narrow roads.
Access to the site was initially limited by the fire and crowds, and later by strong winds and heavy rain. Rescuers also expressed concern that a damaged three-story apartment building might collapse on the crash site.
A Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee was set up by the federal government to investigate the accident.
Both the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR) were recovered and handed over to Nigeria's Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB). Because the aircraft was American-made, the United States National Transportation Safety Board will also have observer status for the investigation. The FDR was found to have been too heavily damaged in the post-crash fire to yield any information, but 31 minutes of conversation were recovered from the CVR. The captain reported engine warning lights and then a twin engine failure during the approach, as the landing gear and flaps were extending.
On 3 June 2014 the AIB released a second interim statement on the investigation into the crash. The AIB stated: "Investigative reviews of the engine teardown especially the fuel systems are still ongoing. During this process a similar incident occurred on another MD 83 aircraft of Dana Airlines on the 6th of October, 2013. AIB is currently investigating in-depth systematic and safety issues associated with this second incident vis-à-vis, the crashed sister ship, 5N-RAM. The safety actions adopted by the operator to redress the findings are being monitored and analyzed."
Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan declared three days of national mourning. He noted that the accident had "sadly plunged the nation into further sorrow on a day when Nigerians were already in grief over the loss of many other innocent lives in the church bombing in Bauchi state". Jonathan also pledged that "every possible effort" would be made to boost the nation's aviation safety.
Dana Air set up a 24-hour hotline for relatives to call and added a message to its website reading "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of guests who were involved in the Dana Air mishap. May the souls of the deceased rest in peace".
The Federal Government seized the license and also banned the MD-83 aircraft type used by DANA Air after the crash. They also set up a nine-man technical and administrative panel that will audit all airlines operating in the country. On 5 September 2012, the suspension on Dana Air's operating license was lifted, and the airline started recertification and retraining processes.
Notable victims of the crash include Alhaji Ibrahim Damcida, the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Industries.
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