An Arik flight from Lagos to Accra, Ghana, made an emergency landing on Tuesday when the pilot detected a smoke in the cabin.
According to a passenger, the flight w3304 airborne enroute Accra on Tue 6/03/18, which took off at exactly 7.20pm caught fire barely 35min into its flight.
The incident, which was narrated by third-party witness by the name, Adetutu Balogun who in a post on her social media platform, Twitter talked about what she alleges a media coverup by the aviation company.
According to her; “The name of the aircraft is STEPHEN. It was a Dash 8 NextGen propeller aircraft. The flight took off precisely 7.20pm (Lagos time) 35 minutes into the 55 minutes flight, I started perceiving something smelling like a burning stuff.
She further went on to say; “Shortly after the guy sitting next to me asked if I perceived any smell of burning stuff and that confirmed my worst fears. Before you could say jack, smoke has filled the cabin. he air hostesses were busy scampering around opening the cabins and the lavatories to check if they could trace the source of the smoke without success.”
“While that continued, the oxygen masks that were always being advertised during the safety demo prior to take-off couldn’t be released instead we were handed tissue papers to use to cover our noses to minimize and filter out possible carbon monoxide inhalation.”
“About 5 minutes after, precisely with 15 minutes of flight time remaining, the pilot came on the public address system to inform us that they have smoke coming into the cabin and that they don’t know the source and that they have DECLARED EMERGENCY.”
“At that point we knew that our lives were only in God’s hands. Everyone prayed to his/her Gods. To the glory of God, the flight successfully landed by 8.15pm (7.15pm Accra time) to the waiting of several fire service trucks at Kotoko International airport, Accra.”
“We were evacuated into a waiting bus with instruction to leave everything behind in the cabin. Sadly there was no Arik official to address us neither was there any manner of first aid attention given to the passengers to manage stress and possible elevated blood pressures.”
“After a while our cabin luggage were brought to us and we had to leave from there to go through the Ghana immigration to our individual destinations.”
She explained that she is highly discouraged that this near crash major incident was not reported in the media 2 days after (today is 08/03/2018) and she suspects a cover up by Arik and the authorities. So she has chosen to use the social media to ensure this news gets out.
ARIK Debunks Fire Claims
However, the aviation company Arik Air, has debunked the claims that it’s aircraft caught fire.
“There was, incident and the passengers disembarked normally”, the airline’s spokesman, Adebanji Ola, said.
The statement, made available, read: “Arik Air flight W3 304 from Lagos to Accra on March 6, 2018 declared an emergency in line with standard operating procedures, when unknown source of smoke was detected in the cabin 81 miles from Accra.
“The captain of the flight briefed the passengers accordingly assuring them that the aircraft was under control and safe for landing in Accra.
“The aircraft, a Dash 8 Q400, landed safely in Accra without further incident and all passengers disembarked normally.
“The aircraft is currently parked in Acrra and our team of engineers are conducting comprehensive inspections on the aircraft to ascertain the cause of the smoke, after which the aircraft will be flown without passengers to a maintenance facility for rectification and testing.
“The relevant aviation authorities in Ghana and Nigeria have been briefed appropriately on the incident.”