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Saturday, 4 May, 2002, 21:24 GMT 22:24 UK
Plane crashes in northern Nigeria
The wing of the crashed plane of the EAS airlines is poised on the roof of a house in Kano
The plane came down in a densely populated area
More than 100 people have been killed after an airliner crashed minutes after take-off in the northern Nigerian city of Kano.

People carry the body of a deceased person to a makeshift ambulance in Kano
Most of the passengers were killed
Hospital officials say most of the 70 people estimated to be on board were killed, among them the country's Sports Minister, Ishaya Mark Aku. Many others on the ground also died.

Eyewitnesses said they saw the plane swaying from side to side just after takeoff, and then it went into a nose dive - the captain is said to have reported to the control tower he was having engine trouble.

The plane came down in a densely populated area, ploughing through several buildings including two mosques before it came to a halt and burst into flames.

Terrified residents, screaming and sobbing, were reported to be searching for survivors in the shattered pieces of aircraft and crumbled homes.

Click here to see a map of Nigeria

One local resident said people could be heard inside the wreckage screaming for help, but they perished because firefighters had no water and could not put out the fire.

Reports are also coming that one survivor was pulled out from the wreckage.

Older aircraft

Airport officials said the BAC 111-500 plane belonged to a private Nigerian airline, EAS.

The plane had arrived safely in Kano from the central city of Jos, and had just set off for Lagos when it plunged to the ground.

There has not been a major air disaster in Nigeria since 1996 when 142 people died as a Boeing 727 plunged into a lagoon outside the commercial capital Lagos.

Nigeria deregulated its airline industry in the mid-1980s and about a dozen private companies, including EAS, sprang up to compete with state carrier Nigeria Airways.

Correspondents say there are concerns about the use of older aircraft by the private domestic carriers.

In April, the Nigerian Government announced a ban on the use of aircraft more than 22 years old, a move that triggered strong protests from private local airline operators.

Nigeria map
here to return)

'The BBC's Dan Isaacs
"More than 100 people have died and many more may be added to that figure "
Associated Press's Glenn Campbell
"It is a chaotic scene"
Spokesman for Kano State Governor
"The government will do everything possible to alleviate their suffering"
See also:

04 May 02 | Africa
In pictures: Nigeria plane crash
25 Feb 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: Nigeria
04 Jan 02 | Business
Nigeria Airways halves workforce
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