[QODLink]
Africa
Flight recorders found in Nigeria air crash
Families gather at crash site and at Lagos morgue to reclaim bodies as investigation continues into causes of disaster.
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2012 14:13
Workers were able to resume the grisly task of digging for charred bodies once the rain stopped on Tuesday [Reuters]

Anxious families and diplomats have crowded into a hospital in Lagos and tried to identify corpses from an air crash that killed 153 people aboard the airliner and an unknown number of others on the ground.

The stench of the dead carried outside the air-conditioned morgue on Tuesday. Guards parking cars outside wore surgical masks to block out the smell.

FROM THE BLOGS
Sad and bitter Sunday for Nigeria
By Yvonne Ndege in The Africa Blog

David Oke, the chief medical director of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, told the dozens of families that the morgue had received about 40 bodies.

Outside the hospital, Ugonna Nwoka said his uncle had been aboard the Dana Air flight that went down in a congested neighbourhood on Sunday, turning much of it to rubble.

Nwoka said he tried to go to the crash site on Monday but was pushed away by security forces.

"We stayed for hours trying to plead to see what happened," he said.

Asked why he needed to see the crash site, Nwoka said if he did not, it would be, "all like a dream, like a drama, like it's not real".

By midday on Tuesday, searchers with police dogs recovered 150 bodies, including those of a mother cradling an infant, according to Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency.

It is not yet known how many people died on the ground.

Sifting through debris

Emergency workers were still looking on Tuesday through the debris for bodies, and one damaged building seemed on the verge of collapse.

Recent major airline crashes in Nigeria

  June 3: Dana Air flight from Abuja to Lagos crashes killing all 153 people on board.
  October 29, 2006: Aviation Development Co. flight from Abuja to Sokoto crashes, killing 96 people, including the top spiritual leader for the nation's Muslims.
  December 10, 2005: Sosoliso Airlines flight full of schoolchildren flying from Abuja to Port Harcourt crashes, killing 107 people.
  October 22, 2005: Bellview Airlines flight crashes, killing 117 people.
  May 4, 2002: EAS airliner with 77 people aboard crashes into northern city of Kano, killing 73 people aboard and 76 on the ground.

The MD-83 plane went down in Lagos's Iju-Ishaga neighbourhood, about 9km from Lagos's Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

The crew radioed the tower that they had engine trouble shortly before the crash, but the exact cause remained unclear.

The weather was clear at the time.

Late on Monday, emergency workers recovered both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder, according to Tunji Oketunbi, a spokesman for the Accident Investigation Bureau, which investigates air crashes in Nigeria.

"We will take them abroad for decoding and that will help our analysis,'' Oketunbi said on Tuesday.

"We will know what happened to the aircraft shortly before it crashed."

Reporting from Lagos, Al Jazeera's Yvonne Ndege said that according to Nigeria's aviation ministry, the pilots had reported a problem to air-traffic control shortly before the airliner went down.

However, she said, authorities had not yet released an official statement on the cause of the crash.

"Engine failure is one thing that's being discussed, and it appears from everything we're hearing so far that it could've been the cause," she said.

Earlier, our correspondent reported from Abuja that some people on the ground in Lagos believed the plane may have hit a power line before crashing into a building and bursting into flames.

Others suggested it had hit a building directly.

Sunday's crash appeared to be the worst since September 1992, when a military transport aircraft crashed into a swamp shortly after take-off from Lagos. All 163 army soldiers, relatives and crew members on board were killed.

On Saturday night, a Nigerian Boeing 727 cargo airliner crashed in Accra, the capital of Ghana, hitting a bus and killing 10 people. The aircraft belonged to Lagos-based Allied Air Cargo.

740

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.