Residents of Nassau, a community in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have shared their experience with the Military aircraft King Air 350 crash which occurred on Sunday, February 21, 2021.
Reacting to the crash which claimed the lives of seven personnel, the residents said they thought it was a bomb blast when they heard the deafening sound of the plane.
Speaking to reporters earlier, Ebube Onyedi, one of the community men who witnessed the disturbing event revealed that they initially presumed the loud sound to be of a bomb blast, but eventually found out it was a plane crash.
The plane, belonging to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF201), a B350 aircraft departed Abuja at 1033UTC with 6 persons on board including two crew but unfortunately crash-landed after the engine failed at time 1039 and blast-off while approaching the path of Abuja Runway 22 at time 10:48UTC.
Giving more insight about the sad development, Onyedi said: “The accident happened around some minutes to 11 am this (Sunday) morning and it caused confusion in Nassau, which as you can see is one of the communities bordering the Abuja airport.
“Many of us ran out of our houses when we heard the explosion. It really caused so much panic, as initially, people thought it was a bomb blast,” he struggled to say while still catching his breath.
On his part, one Gboyega who also claimed to have witnessed the event disclosed that he saw the aircraft struggling to land but it eventually crashed and burst into flames.
The eyewitness praised the pilot of the aircraft, stating that he averted what would have turned out to be “a greater casualty figure.”
He said, “The pilot tried not to crash the plane on buildings because it was almost falling on some structures before it eventually dropped where there was no building.
“It burst into flames after crashing and people in their respective homes around the area ran out in fear.
“If not for the pilot’s efforts, we would have seen a greater casualty figure.”