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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 December 2005, 11:43 GMT
Nigeria grounds 'crash' airline
The wing of a plane that crashed near Lagos, Nigeria
There were no survivors from the Bellview crash in October
A Nigerian airline which operated a plane which crashed in October, killing 117 people, has been grounded.

Bellview becomes the third Nigerian airline to be grounded by the authorities this month.

The measure comes a day after a Bellview plane made an emergency landing in the Ghanaian capital, Accra. All 67 people on board are safe.

Following a second air disaster in two months, all planes were supposed to have safety checks before flying.

On Monday, hundreds of women wearing black protested in Port Harcourt - scene of a crash this month, which killed 106 people, reports the AFP news agency.

Carrying placards reading "Ban flying coffins", they called for the resignation of Aviation Minister Babalola Borishade.

Corruption blamed

Sosoliso - which operated the Port Harcourt flight - and Chanchangi airlines were grounded last week.

"We have been grounded. Right now we are not operating in compliance with the directive of the technical task force set up by the Aviation Minister Babalola Borishade," Bellview spokesman Habib Mohammed told AFP.

"I believe the decision is to allow for proper inspection of our aircraft to ensure their air worthiness and guarantee aviation safety," he said.

The Bellview Airlines Boeing 737 that touched down in Accra on Monday had been on a flight from Lagos to Freetown in Sierra Leone, with a scheduled stop in Ghana.

"The pilot had earlier radioed the control tower in Accra, declaring an emergency during descent to land at Accra airport due to a hydraulic system failure," Eric Noi of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority told Reuters news agency.

"The aircraft landed safely... without any casualties. The aircraft burst a tyre upon landing and was disabled for a while on the runway and was subsequently towed to the hangar."

Last week, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo blamed corruption in the aviation sector for the succession of accidents.

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