Abuja Max Air Mishap: Passengers Narrate Unpleasant Experience
By Mukhtar Tijjani
Passengers of MaxAir aircraft that departed Yola, Adamawa State to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, had a terrifying experience, yesterday, as the tyre burst into flames during landing.
The plane had departed Yola at 14:00p.m. and was scheduled to arrive in Abuja at 15: 00 p.m., before the incident.
Fortunately, all 143 passengers, one infant, and six crew members on board were safely evacuated with no casualties.
It was not clear what caused the tyre to burst into flames, but investigations are ongoing.
However, the Aerodrome Rescue and Fire-fighting Service, ARFFS, operatives at the airport were swift to mobilise to put out the fire. The runway was temporarily closed while the aircraft was being towed.
Meanwhile, the passengers were grateful to be alive and thankful for the professionalism of the crew and emergency responders.
Some passengers on the flight recounted their unpleasant experiences during the crash landing.
Former President of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Dr Mike Ogirima, who spoke on the incident, said the tyre pulled out ab initio after take-off at Yola Airport.
Ogirima said, “We thank God. We were still on the runway when the pilot has reassured us. He had called for the stairs and disembarked from the runway to be evacuated to the airport building at the arrival hall.
“We bless God because we witnessed the pull out of the tyre right from the airport in Yola and we went into prayer session. I never announced it as a surgeon, so as not to cause any panic but we bless God.”
Another passenger, who preferred to remain anonymous, said: “We felt a sudden jolt and the plane started shaking. We could hear a loud noise and knew something was wrong and we were very scared.
“But the crew did an amazing job of keeping us safe. They made sure we were wearing our seatbelts and helped us evacuate the plane quickly when the time was right.
“We are grateful to them for their quick thinking and the emergency responders for their bravery. We owe God our lives,” she added.
Meanwhile, a statement by the management of the airline, said it would continue to provide updates on the situation as more information becomes available.
The statement read, “On May 7, 2023, a Max Air flight with 143 passengers and one infant on board, departing from Yola at around 14:05, was scheduled to arrive in Abuja at 15:00.
“However, the aircraft experienced two tire bursts on landing Abuja, and the emergency response team quickly responded at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
“We are pleased to report that all passengers and crew on board the aircraft are safe and sound. The airline has taken all necessary steps to ensure that the passengers are comfortable and are being taken care of during this time. They have been conveyed to the arrival terminal with their luggage and belongings.
“The aircraft tires are being replaced and the aircraft will taxi to the ramp for further investigations before being released for future flights.”