Commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, Dr. Felix Abali has observed that the inability of pathologists and coroners to submit their final reports on the October 4, 2013 Associated Airline’s plane crash in Lagos is the major reason why the AIB, is yet to make public its final report on the accident.
He stated further that despite the recent accidents in the industry, which has led to the loss of hundreds of lives, aviation industry is still the safest mode of transportation worldwide.
Disclosing this to Journalists at the agency’s headquarters at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos, Dr. Felix Abali explained that if the challenges associated with pathologists and coroners handling the Associated plane crash, which claimed no fewer than 16 out of the 20 souls onboard had been resolved, AIB would have long ago released its final report on the crash.
He stated that it would be unprofessional for the agency to release the final report without looking critically at the inputs of pathologists and coroners.
Dr. Abali however assured that such challenges would be resolved very soon.
According to him, in a bid to resolve such challenges in the future; AIB is currently working with a major pathologist in the country who he said had lots of connections with some of the hospitals in different states across the nation.
“That takes us back to the problems we are having with coroners and pathologists. We are actually still waiting for their reports. Accident as you know could be caused by a lot of factors. Assuming that one of the crew members was drunk, how do you determine this? It is through pathological reports that you can know the true state of health of such crew member. If we don’t have such information then, the report is incomplete. We cannot go and publish something and leave out some aspects. What we have been doing is that we try to come to an understanding with them. We have been trying to write a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with them. As a matter of fact, we just started working with one of the pathologists who basically has a lot of connections with some of the hospitals in different states. These hospitals will work with this individual who will just report to us. If that works, I think the situation would be alleviated”, he said.
The sector is safe for flying despite some accidents in recent time, as accident could not be eradicated in the industry; rather, it could be reduced to the barest minimum, Abali assured.
In his words, “aviation industry is safe globally and will always be safe. Till now except the one that happened over Ukraine that the people know the cause of it, the other two or three, we don’t know the causes yet and I think in accident investigation, it is not always right to speculate. It doesn’t do the industry any good and it will not enhance safety in the system. Until the black boxes are discovered and the true causes of the accidents are known, we won’t be able to comment much on them. But, I want to emphasise here that aviation is still the safest mode of transportation anywhere in the world.”

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