NAF Reveals Identities of Jet Crash Victims as CAS Orders Probe

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The Nigerian Air Force has revealed the identities of the seven officers on board its Beechcraft KingAir B350i which crashed on Sunday in Abuja.

All the seven on board the jet were confirmed dead after crashing while returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja.

It had reported engine failure enroute Minna where it was scheduled to conduct surveillance missions over Niger State and its environs in connection with the efforts to secure the release of the students and staff abducted from the Government Science College Kagara, Niger State.

In a statement by NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola, the victims are identified as Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain), Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot), and Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System (ATOS) Specialist).

Others are Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialist), Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist), Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist), and Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician). 

Daramola noted that the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, in company of Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retired); Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika; Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor, and other Service Chiefs visited the crash site on Sunday. 

The statement disclosed that the CAS has instituted an investigative panel to determine the remote and immediate causes of the accident, adding that the Next of Kins and family members of the deceased have been notified of the incident. 

“The CAS, on behalf of officers, airmen and airwomen of the NAF, once more commiserates with the families of the deceased personnel and prays that the Almighty God grants their souls eternal repose,” the statement read.