From Pearl Ngwama, Lagos
Five passengers were injured on Wednesday when the Atlanta-bound Delta Airlines’ plane made a return for an emergency landing at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos.
Soon after the accident, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB commenced investigation into it in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rules.
The flight 55 from Lagos to Atlanta, which took off from Lagos at about 10:50 pm local time yesterday returned to MMIA less than an hour later.
The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said that all hands were on deck to ensure the safety after the pilots made emergency call to the Control Tower.
It said all the passengers on board were successfully evacuated on landing, but admitted that five of them were injured.
NCAA Director-General, Captain Muhtar Usman, said that AIB had commenced investigation into the cause of the engine fire, whether it was minor or serious.
He said: “Officials of the AIB are there investigating, if it is serious, the AIB will be working with the United States (US) National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).”
A source in NCAA explained that the flight which initially pushed back at 22:40hrs had Air Return/Emergency landing at 23:16hrs, when the pilot in command (PIC) announced the evacuation of all the passengers on board within 90 seconds, after contacting the Control Towers because the left engine of the aircraft was said to have caught fire mid-air in-flight.
At the time of filing this report, the injured passengers had been taken to Lagos State Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Air Force Base Clinic, and FAAN Medical Centre for treatment.
Delta Airlines said that it was aware of five customers reporting non-critical injuries as a result of the evacuation.
It added that its teams had provided overnight hotel accommodations to customers and would rebook them on an alternate Delta aircraft today.