The jets were said to have crashed while on rehearsal for the country’s 58th independence anniversary. The two fighter jets crashed in Jikoko village
Molly Kilete, Abuja
A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) pilot yesterday lost his life when two fighter jets crashed in Abuja. Director, Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, who made this known in a statement however did not disclose the name of the deceased pilot.
The jets were said to have crashed while on rehearsal for the country’s 58th independence anniversary. The two fighter jets crashed in Jikoko village, near a quarry site owned by Limfond. An eyewitness, told Saturday Sun, that the crash happened at about 11 a.m. on Friday.
The witness said one of the pilots died while trying to eject from his parachute, which got stuck in between the trees around the very mountainous and bushy site, while they rescued three others, who were immediately rushed to the hospital.
The witness, Emmanuel Iwekwa, however commended the authorities of the NAF, for responding swiftly to the distress. He gives a vivid account of what happened.
In his account, Iwekwa said, “I work in this area as a farmer and I was in my farm when suddenly I heard a very loud bang and by the time I turned to know what it was, I saw two aeroplanes dropping. One of the planes nosedived deeply into the earth and started a huge fire while the other one crashed on the other side of the rock.
“In my confusion, I also saw two people with something like an umbrella dropping from the sky while another one who tried to drop with that same umbrella got caught up in between trees and was lifeless. Me and the people around rushed to the area and tried to rescue the survivors. It was when we got there that we found that they were military men and immediately we began the rescue operation.
“We were able to rescue two people while the other person was already dead because he was caught in between trees and there were a lot of injuries on his face, neck and chest. We shook him but he did not respond and we knew he was dead and concentrated on those that were alive. The fire from the burning plane was so much that we were not able to see each other, so we waited for sometime and when the fire went down, we started to work again.
“Within thirty minutes, the military people came and together we tried to rescue the survivors and they were immediately taken to the hospital. I want to thank the military people for responding on time because they came almost immediately after the crash, they didn’t waste time. But my fear is that there are still some people inside the plane that nosedived into the ground because it is only the tail that is outside.”