Four United States agencies are currently involved in the ongoing probe of the likely causes of the Dana Air plane crash of June 3 in Lagos.
The Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, said this in a memorandum submitted by the Ministry of Aviation and its parastatals to the Joint National Assembly Committees on Aviation, which is also investigating the crash.
The four US bodies are the National Transportation Safety Board; Federal Aviation Administration; Boeing Company, manufacturers of the aircraft; and Pratt and Whitney, manufacturers of the aircraft’s engines.
Oduah said the agencies were collaborating with the Accident Investigation Bureau to probe the cause(s) of the accident.
In the memo submitted to the committee, Oduah said no agency would comment on the matter before the result of the official probe was out, as it was against the rule of the International Civil Aviation Organisation to do so.
The minister said Nigeria would have set up a laboratory for analysing accidents locally but for budgetary constraints, adding that acquiring the laboratory would reduce the time usually spent in resolving the causes of air mishaps.
She said, “The Cockpit Voice Recorder and Flight Data Recorder of the ill-fated flight have been taken to the NTSB Laboratory in Washington DC for readout and analysis. This capability, which can improve the time it takes to conclude an accident investigation by the AIB, would have been achieved this year if not for budget constraints.
“As of today, all the bodies from the aeroplane have been recovered from the crash site, including the bodies of the people on the ground who lost their lives as a result of the crash. The Lagos State Government, in conjunction with the AIB and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, is managing the process of identification and release of bodies to the families for burial.”
Oduah said despite the ongoing AIB investigation, it became clear from the public reaction to the Dana accident that there was a need to assure the public that the Federal Government was committed to maintaining a high level of aviation safety in the country.