Seven personnel of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aboard the Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft which crashed on Sunday have been confirmed dead.
The aircraft was said to have reported engine failure at 10.39am, some minutes after taking off to Minna.
The pilot was said to have returned to Abuja and the aircraft crashed landed on the final approach path of Abuja Runway 22 at time 1048UTC.
In a press release Sunday afternoon, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, AVM Ibikunle Daramola said that first responders are at the scene.
“Sadly, all 7 personnel on board died in the crash. The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.
“While urging the general public to remain calm and await the outcome of investigation, the CAS, on behalf of all NAF personnel, commiserates with the families of the deceased.”
Earlier, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had confirmed the incident in his official twitter handle.
He tweeted: “A military aircraft King Air 350 has just crashed short of our Abuja runway after reporting engine failure enroute Minna.
It appears to be fatal.
“We should remain calm & wait for the outcome of investigation by the military, while we pray for the departed soul/souls if any.”
According to eyewitnesses, the plane was totally burnt.
He said that, “The pilot is a hero! This aircraft should have crashed into the residential area but we watched him maneuver into a free bush to crash”