….One rescued alive
The pilot of an ill-fated helicopter and a passenger were Friday, recovered dead, while another passenger is currently hospitalised, after the helicopter crashed into a building, in Opebi area of Ikeja, Lagos State.
Also, the after effect of the crash affected a Honda Salon car with number plate EPE 04 AL as it’s rear screen was completely damaged.
The incident occurred at about 12.17pm at No 16A, Salvation Road, Opebi. The hospitalised victim is in the Intensive Care Unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital while the bodies have been deposited at the morgue. Although the destination of the helicopter could not be determined at press time, eyewitness account claimed that the helicopter flying smoothly when suddenly it crashed landed in between two buildings. This was said to have brought lightning just as thick smoke billowed into the air.
An eyewitness Mr. Emede Gab, said he was transacting a business in the area when he noticed the atmosphere had suddenly gone dark and he scampered for safety. Another eyewitness Victor Owoyemi, said he was not aware of the crash until he heard the firefighters alarm and rushed to the scene only to see a mammoth crowd as emergency services had taken off. “My office is a short distance from the scene and I quickly rushed there. Thank God there was no fire outbreak,” he said. At the scene were men of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency BLASEMA, Nation Emergency Management Agency NEMA, The Nigeria Police and other emergency responders to ensure the incident did not degenerate.
Both LASEMA Director-General, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu and NEMA Lagos State Coordinator, Ibrahim Farinloye confirmed the incident. Farinloye described the death of the pilot and that of a passenger as unfortunate but said the survivor was receiving medical attention at press time.
Today’s incident attracted a mammoth crowd but law enforcement agents were able to adopt crowd control measures as the scene was cordoned off. There was crying and wailing at the scene as sympathisers were shouting for help.