By Dare Lawal
2013 has not been a good year for the aviation sector in Nigeria following a series of plane crashes and near air mishaps.
On Thursday morning another disaster was averted at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, as a cargo plane, B747 coming from Saudi Arabia veered off while heading towards the runway. The plane ran into a maintenance area of the runway and stopped.
Subsequently all flights at the airport were suspended leaving passengers stranded.
A statement issued by the Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation, Media, Joe Obi, said flights were temporarily suspended to facilitate evacuation efforts at the runway.
He added that normal operations will resume after the aircraft is removed.
The statement reads, “A Saudi Arabian B747 cargo aircraft landed in Abuja last night and veered off at the manoeuvring area of the runway, ran into a maintenance area of the runway and stopped.
“No casualty recorded while efforts are underway to move the aircraft away following a preliminary assessment visit by AIPB, NCAA, FAAN and other relevant agencies.”
Unconfirmed reports say that there is no equipment in the airport which can be used to tow the plane.
More to follow. ..