By Chinelo Obogo
A helicopter belonging to Quorum Aviation Limited, an air transportation and logistics company on Friday crashed into a building in Opebi area of Lagos killing two person while another is at the Intensive care unit of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).
The helicopter, Bell 206 with registration number 5N-BQW from Port Harcourt crashed into a building at number 16A Salvation Road, Opebi, Ikeja at about 12:00pm on 28 August, 2020. The cause of the accident has not been ascertained by the relevant agency.
At the time of filing this report, the Director General of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu told reporters that the helicopter was carrying three people, and that one was in the intensive care unit at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital while the other two were killed on impact and their bodies have been deposited in mortuary.
“The agency received distress calls concerning a privately operated helicopter that crashed into 16A Salvation Road, Opebi, Ikeja and immediately activated the emergency response plan.
“The helicopter was carrying three people, one is in the intensive care unit at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, while the other two were killed on impact and their bodies have been deposited in a mortuary. We are on top of challenges, especially crowd control. The operation is ongoing and updates will follow,” he said.
Quorum helicopters confirmed that the helicopter involved in the crash belongs to them.
In a statement, the management of the company said it has confirmed that two people lost their lives in the accident and that it is cooperating with the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in ascertaining the cause of the accident.
“A light helicopter belonging to Quorum Aviation with registration Number 5N-BQW flying from Port-Harcourt to Lagos crashed between two buildings in Ikeja en-route to Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
“As soon as we received news of the accident, we promptly informed the aviation authorities, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
“Preliminary reports indicate that of the three people on board – all crew, two of the crew members lost their lives whilst the third one is currently receiving treatment at a hospital.
“We have been made to understand that nobody in the building, nor in the vicinity was injured for which we are grateful.
“In accordance with aviation regulations, the AIB has taken over the investigation process. We hereby ask members of the public to await the outcome of the investigation. We hereby express our heartfelt condolences to the families of the crew who lost their loved ones in this tragic accident,” the airline said.
Meanwhile, AIB has said the cause of the accident is still being investigated and it will make its findings public as soon as investigations are over.
“Accident Investigation Bureau was notified by Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) at about 12:30pm on 28 August, 2020 and has commenced investigation into an accident involving a Helicopter Bell 206B3 with the nationality registration marks 5N-BQW operated by Quorum Aviation coming from Port Harcourt to Lagos, which occurred on the 28 August, 2020 at the Opebi Area of Ikeja Lagos.
“Three passengers on board – two fatalities and one hospitalised.
As the investigating agency, AIB needs and hereby solicits for your assistance. We want the public to know that we would be amenable to receiving any video clip, relevant evidence, or information any members of the public may have of the accident; that can assist us with this investigation.
“The Bureau will appreciate that the general public and press respect the privacy of the people involved and not assume the cause of the accident until formal report is released,” AIB said.
sunnewsonline.com learnt that the captain of the helicopter was identified as Chika Ernest and the engineer on board is Clement Ndiok. Both men died on impact, while the fitter is admitted at LASUTH.