The management of Dana Air on Wednesday said the door of its aircraft fell off because a passenger attempted to open it.
A statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES and signed by Kingsley Ezenwa, Media and Communications Manager at Dana Air, said the incident could not have happened if no one tried to open the door.
“We wish to state categorically that this could never have happened without a conscious effort by a passenger to open it (exit door),” the statement said.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported how some passengers expressed fear when the door of the aircraft fell off while taxing in Abuja airport. The airline did not clearly state were the flight was coming from, although it indicated it may have been coming from Lagos.
One of the passengers on the flight, Dapo Sanwo, said the door panel was loose all through the flight, and described it as an indication of ‘lack of maintenance’.
Another passenger, Ola Brown, who took to her twitter page to vent her frustration, said the experience was scary.
“Flew Dana. Exit door was unstable throughout flight. As we touched down, it fell off. Scary stuff,” she wrote on twitter.
“I was closer to the front so when I heard the sound, (I) thought it was an explosion. (I) couldn’t quite comprehend that it (the door) had just fallen off…”
But Mr. Ezenwa in his reaction Wednesday said by design, the emergency exit door of the airline’s aircraft are plug-type backed by pressure, which ordinary cannot fall off without tampering or conscious effort to open by a crew member or passenger.
“We also wish to enlighten the author that, when an aircraft is airborne, it is fully pressurized and there was no way the seat or door could have been ‘shaking’ as insinuated,” the statement explained.
It said further that a thorough inspection was however carried out on the said aircraft upon landing in Abuja, by the airline’s engineers and a team from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), and no issue was reported.
“There was also no threat to safety at any point,” he said.
“The flight was only delayed for 8 minutes as we needed to demonstrate to the regulators that the safety and comfort of our guests is at the centre of our operations.
“We wish to apologise to our guests for any inconvenience such report may have caused and for the slight delay on the return service to Lagos.”
The statement concluded that a thorough investigation of the concerned passenger was ongoing.