Seven people aboard a military plane died in an accident Sunday near the Nigerian capital Abuja, the country’s air force spokesman said.
The plane was to carry out a surveillance mission as part of an operation to rescue dozens of people kidnapped from a school on Wednesday in neighboring Niger state.
Gunmen known locally as “bandits” killed a schoolboy and captured 42 people, including 27 students, three teachers and relatives of school staff, officials said in the country’s latest mass kidnapping.
President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the security forces to release the kidnappings victims and the army and police said they were following the gang.
The plane that crashed on Sunday “was supposed to carry out surveillance missions over Niger state and surrounding areas as part of a concerted effort to secure the release of students / staff,” the porter said. – Ibikunle Daramola spoke in a press release.
The cause of the crash is still unknown, but officials said the pilot reported an engine failure.
“The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Beechcraft KingAir B350i plane crashed on its way back to Abuja airport after reporting an engine failure,” said Daramola.
“Unfortunately, all 7 members of staff on board died in the accident,” he added.
A video posted to social media showed water cannons being used to put out the flames at the scene, as large numbers of onlookers thronged.
The Air Force said an investigation into the crash was underway.
Nigerian Aviation Minister Sirika Hadi also confirmed the crash.
“We must remain calm and await the outcome of the military investigation,” Hadi said in a Tweet.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by The Bharat Express News staff and is posted Platforms.)