Management of Aero Contractors yesterday said fresh investigation had commenced into an alleged mid-air fire and smoke incident on its flight NG316 from Port Harcourt to Lagos on Tuesday.
The airlines said though online’ reports on the incident were conflicting, the incident had been reported to appropriate authorities, while another round of thorough investigation is ongoing.
No fewer than 54 passengers onboard the flight claimed terrifying experience when one of the engines allegedly caught fire, with thick smoke felt in the cabin. Media Consultant of the airline, Simon Tumba, said preliminary findings were contrary to stories being spread on the social media, adding that the pilot and the entire crew had been commended for professionalism displayed in handling the situation.
Tumba noted that there had been different accounts of the incidents with some claiming that the smoke came from the baggage compartment while other allude to all manner of unverified claims.
However, “the management of Aero regrets any inconveniences the incident might have caused its esteemed passengers and assured it will get to the root of the matter.
“Although the management, led by Capt. Ado Sanusi, has ordered for full scale investigation into the incident, preliminary reports has it that at 1645 GMT about 75NM to Lagos at 24,00ft, the cabin crew observed that the cabin was misty. This was reported to the captain, who briefed the passengers, accordingly assuring them of a safe landing in Lagos in a couple of minutes.
“Ready and armed with ‘Aft Cargo Smoke’ indication in the flight deck, the crew carried out the smoke dispersal procedures and contacted air traffic control at 1655GMT, requesting for emergency support services.’’
He added that the aircraft landed at 1703 GMT without any incident, after which “the company engineers had carried out the routine systems checks, and reported all normal.”