Small Nigerian military passenger plane crashes by Abuja airport


ABUJA (Reuters) – A small passenger plane belonging to the Nigerian military crashed while approaching the Abuja airport runway due to engine failure on Sunday, Nigeria’s aviation minister said.


Hadi Sirika said on his Twitter account that “a military aircraft King Air 350 has just crashed short of our Abuja runway after reporting engine failure en route Minna,” a city about 110 kilometres (68 miles) northwest of Abuja.

He gave no details on casualties but wrote: “It appears to be fatal.”

The twin propeller engine King Air 350i, a variant of the model, takes up to eight passengers, according to the plane manufacturer’s website.

In scrubland just outside the airport perimeter, dozens of military and airport officials picked through scattered debris while the smell of burning chemicals lingered in the air, a Reuters witness said.

There was no sign of casualties. Fire engines stood at the ready nearby although no fire or smoke was visible, the witness said.

The Nigerian Air Force spokesman said he was driving to the airport because of the crash, but gave no additional information.

(Reporting by Abraham Achirga, Paul Carsten and Camillus Eboh; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Raissa Kasolowsky)

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