DANA AIR CRASH: Army officers deny local journalists access; allow foreigners

Army officers denied local journalists access to vantage positions near the wreckage as rescue efforts at the site of the Dana Air crash continued on Tuesday.

Foreign journalists, however, were allowed to get within a handful of metres near the bulldozer scooping mud into a waiting truck.

Two foreign reporters climbed onto the wreckage to take a close shot of the crashed aircraft’s tail fin.

A local journalist taking photos with his mobile phone was harassed and his phone seized.

“Where is your uniform,” barked one of the army officers, after the man had presented his identity card.

A senior army officer at the site declined to answer questions from reporters.

A bulldozer, crane, and about a dozen trucks all belonging to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc worked to evacuate the heap of crushed cement blocks.

A team of armed army and police officers; Federal Road Safety Corps, National Emergency Management Agency, and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps officials kept the crowd at bay.

Hundreds of residents circled the scene and watched.

Emergency officials say four corpses were pulled out from the smouldering rubble Tuesday morning.

Noise from airplanes taking off from the nearby Murtala Mohammed periodically interrupted the hum of the bulldozer.

Barefoot youth helped take out textbooks from a partly crushed warehouse, into a secluded room metres away.

Daniel Omowunmi, the owner of the books and the warehouse estimated his loss to be “in the neighbourhood of N500m”.

The cool afternoon wind swayed clothes hung on a line inside the untouched portion of the two storey building where the aircraft came to a halt.

The occupants had fled.

The Lagos State government maintained that those who were rendered homeless would be taken to the Agbowa Relief camp. But victims say they are yet to see any seriousness from the government.

“I’ve not seen or been contacted by anybody,” Mr. Owowunmi said.

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