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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 October 2006, 22:52 GMT
Eyewitness: Nigerian plane crash site
Nigerian photojournalist Abayomi Adeshida, 35, describes what he saw at the crash site of the ADC airlines which came down in a storm shortly after taking off from the capital, Abuja.

Senator Umaru Dahiru whose three children were victims watching the relics the site of an ADC aircraft that crashed shortly after take-off at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja [Pic: Abayomi Adeshida]
Senator Umaru Dahiru lost three of his children to the accident
I got to the site at about 1430 local time, by which time the survivors had already been moved to the National Hospital in Abuja.

A short while ago, two guys from the hospital came on national TV to say that of the seven survivors, six were stable but that one was in a critical condition.

The national emergency management agency had already arrived.

They had brought in helicopters to move the bodies of the victims as the crash site is inaccessible to cars - I had to walk for about 15 minutes off the tarmac runway at Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.

Scattered toys

They were using motorised saws to cut through the aircraft and remove the bodies.

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The ground was covered with the victim's charred bodies, shoes, headscarves, cell phones, books, toys and what was left of the plane.

The tail of the aircraft was still attached to part of the plane body but the wings had come apart.

The charred victim's bodies and remains were then taken to the airport where they were then ferried to the mortuary.

Tremendous help

Culture Minister Chief Femi Fani-Kayode at the site of the Abuja crash [Pic: Abayomi Adeshida]
The plane reportedly burst into flames just after take-off

I was told that there had been 109 people on board the ADC airlines flight travelling to the northern city of Sokoto.

Villagers close to where the plane crash-landed said that they had heard two loud bangs from the aircraft before an even louder third explosion - when the weekly Sunday Sokoto-bound flight impacted with the ground.

They were very tremendous with their help, considering the seriousness of the accident, assisting the few survivors and helping to make respectable and give dignity to the bodies of the victims that had escaped the flames but had all their clothes torn.

The Sultan of Sokoto Mohammadu Maccido was recovered along with the remains of his son and grandson.

They were flown to Sokoto where they were buried before sunset.



SEE ALSO
Obituary: The Sultan of Sokoto
29 Oct 06 |  Africa
Nigeria grounds 'crash' airline
20 Dec 05 |  Africa
Country profile: Nigeria
11 Oct 05 |  Country profiles

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