A middle aged man yesterday gained access to the runway of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos thereby endangering the lives of about 100 passengers aboard the B737 aircraft belonging to Medview Airline.
According to an official of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, who works at the airfield of the airport, the incident occurred about 1.51pm when a ‘mad man’ gained access to the security area of the airport through many of the porous ways from Shasha area.
He stated that the Captain of the aircraft on take-off saw a man who was walking across the airplane, and haD to blast him.
The FAAN source explained the blasting led to severe burns to the man.
According to him, “the man is a director of a company at Shasha who developed insanity. He was carrying a bag. He was taken away immediately the incident happened.”
It was also gathered that the man, Abibu Olusola, was arrested after the Captain of Medview airline attacked the suspect using jet blast while attempting to gain access to the aircraft which was waiting on the threshold of the Runway 18 of the airport for take-off.
Nigerian Pilot learnt that the Medview aircraft had just left MMA2 terminal for takeoff about 12.30pm but suddenly the Captain of the aircraft discovered that someone was moving closer to his aircraft even as passengers who were observing the unusual movement raised alarm.
This prompted the Captain to alert the control tower as he moved forward to stop the suspect from getting near the aircraft, but when he realised that the suspect was running after the moving aircraft, he attacked him with jet blast, causing the suspect to fall on the runway.
The suspect has been arrested by airport security operatives.
General Manager, Corporate Affairs of the Federal
Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Yakubu Dati in a statement explained that vigilant Aviation Security staff of the FAAN yesterday, December 2, 2015, apprehended a man, Mr. Alabibu Olushola, who was attempting to stow away in a taxing aircraft on the tarmac of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja.
The culprit was arrested as soon as he scaled the perimeter fence near the moving aircraft and after interrogation by the Avsec staff, he was immediately handed over to the police for further interrogation.
The Authority wishes to remind members of the public that access to restricted areas of the airport, including the tarmac and perimeter roads, is prohibited for unauthorized people, including airport staff, who have no business being there. This is more so in view of the present security situation in the country.
The Authority will henceforth not hesitate to arrest and prosecute any person, including unauthorized airport staff, who is found loitering around restricted areas of all our airports.
Also, the management of Medview Airline yesterday commended the crew of one of its flight for assisting security agencies to arrest a man at the runway of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos
In a statement signed by the media consultant of Medview Airlines , Obuke Oyibotha, said the action of the crew, which led to the arrest and the return of the aircraft to the tarmac for security check was in line with ICAO recommended best practices on aviation security.
According to the statement, the Maiduguri bound aircraft via Abuja was taxing to the threshold for take-off when the pilot sited a man on the active runway and alerted the control tower on his observation and requested for aviation security personnel.
While still taxiing, the pilot noticed that the same man has crossed to the threshold, and was moving towards the aircraft, and had to alert the control tower again for security, Obuke, said in the statement.
He stated that the man wanted to get entangled with the engine thrust pilot increased the speed of the engine before he was picked up by security agents.
“The pilot asked for permission to return to base, where security agencies including Bomb disposal Squad conducted a thorough check on all passengers, luggage and the entire aircraft and appropriate clearance was given,” Obuke concluded.
…57-yr-old man dies aboard Arik Owerri-Lagos flight
In another development, a 57- year- old man, Albert Nnadi, died yesterday aboard an Arik Air flight from Owerri to Lagos.
The passenger who was found dead when other passengers were disembarking the flight at the Murtala Muhammed Domestic Airport Terminal 1 , Lagos was said to have been accompanied by one of his relatives identified as Damien Nwachkwu.
He was said to be on his way to Lagos to seek medical assistance on obesity.
Nigerian Pilot gathered that the corpse was rejected at the morgue of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, because it was too large for any of the compartments to take and was later transferred to Lagos General Hospital where it got a space.
A statement by Adebanji Ola, Arik’s spokesperson while confirming the incident, explained that the middle-aged man was confirmed dead by doctors on arrival at the Lagos Airport.
According to Adebanji, “the passenger boarded the flight from Owerri in the company of a relative. He started showing signs of uneasiness midway into the flight.
The body of the man has been deposited in the mortuary by the Police while investigation into the immediate cause of death is ongoing.”