The pilot of the Dana Air plane that crashed in on Sunday, killing all 153 people on board, called the control tower to report dual engine failure shortly before going down.
Aviation minister, Stella Oduah, made the disclosure on Wednesday while speaking with journalist at the presidential villa. "It was shortly after the captain's distress call that the aircraft could no longer be seen in the radar and communication was lost," she said.
Meanwhile, Captain Oscar Wason, the Director of Flight Operations with Dana Air, claims the crash might have been caused by 'bird strike'. Wason, who was speaking on Sliver Bird Television on Wednesday, explained that the remains of the birds were discovered in the planes engines. The captain, however, said investigations, which may take months or years to conclude, would reveal the actual cause of the crash.
“I don’t know what could have been responsible for the crash, but this morning we found remnants of birds in one of the engines,” he said. “We have bird strikes and it might have been that a mass of birds went through the engine and caused it to lose power. “We have found the voice recorder and that has to be sent to either the UK or Washington. I am planning to travel out myself so that we can found out what is the real cause of the accident.”
In the aftermath of the crash, the federal government has withdrawn Dana Air's license and also ordered Harold Demuren, the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), to step aside. However, Dana Air Director, Frank Ogboro, at a news World Press Conference in Lagos on Wednesday evening denied the withdrawal saying it has not been withdrawn just grounded. Ogboro also denied rumours that principal officials of Dana Airline had fled the country.
"Every time there is an incident like this, aircraft of that type are grounded for checks and that's what happened," he said. "You can go to the airport as I speak with you, the chairman of the company is there, the managing director is there."