House plans separate investigation on Dana crash

A legislative inquiry into Sunday’s Dana airplane crash that killed more than 200 people in Lagos is underway, and will be held separately from government’s planned investigations, the House of Representatives said on Monday.

The chairman House committee on media, Zakari Mohammed, said an ad hoc committee will be named to investigate the cause of one of the nation’s most horrific air accidents.

Also, the senate said it will support sweeping probe not only on Dana air, but the entire aviation industry, an indicator the chamber may not launch its own investigation but may be planning to back the government’s probe instead of conducting a separate one.

All 153 passengers and crew members aboard the plane died while an unexpected number, expected to be huge too, were killed in the buildings and the neighborhood the jet smashed into.

By late Monday evening, 137 bodies had been pulled out from smouldering ruins while emergency work continued.

During an earlier visit, President Goodluck Jonathan said there will “never” be a repeat of fatal crash.

“We have been working very hard to improve the aviation conditions in this country, so this particular incident is a major setback for us as a people,” President Jonathan said at the crash site in Lagos.

“I am here with members of the national assembly, because we will thoroughly investigate this… at the end of the day, we will make sure that this will never repeat itself again in this country,” he said. 

Mr. Mohammed (PDP-Kwara), said details of the probe will be announced on Tuesday when the House meets. 

“We cannot fold our arms and allow this to be swept under the carpet. We will support all relevant agencies of government to get to the root of the tragedy. We want to know why it happened,” he said. “We want to, for once, unravel what is responsible for that national calamity.

The lawmaker said the probe, which is to establish the age of the aircraft, its airworthiness.

“We are interested in the nature of the aircraft, the age of the aircraft. Is it supposed to fly in our airspace? We will be very strict on this as the blackbox does not lie. It will tell everything that happened,” he said.

The Senate demanded a thorough investigation of all airlines in the country in a statement by Spokesman, Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia). 

“Senate demands nothing, but a holistic investigation of the remote and immediate causes of the plane crash. 

“Senate would also insist that the probe this time should not be limited to Dana Airlines and their fleet, but all the airlines operating in Nigeria.

Mr. Abaribe said, “We had thought that Nigeria had landed in the golden era of safe aviation industry, where all the standard codes that conform with international best practices were being complied with.”

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