The EMBRA plane 120, with other 20 passengers on board, was conveying the body of the formerÂ governor, who died a week ago, to Akure, the state capital, for the final burial ceremonies.
The 30-seat plane, belonging to Associated Airlines, was said to have crashed around 9.20am immediately after take-off into the compound of a private firm, around the MMIA access gate.
Residents around the area told our correspondent that the plane exploded mid-air before coming down.
As of the time of filling this report, details of survivors and causalities were still sketchy
Rescue operations were still ongoing.
No official statement had been made by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, but the spokesman for the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, Yakubu Datti, confirmed the crash.
Before the news of the crash of the aircraft conveying the corpse of Late Dr. Olusegun Agagu filtered in, we can report that over 1500 prominent and not so prominent individuals were already at the Democracy Park, Akure, venue of the lying-in-state ceremony organized by Ondo State government in honour of the late former governor.
According to our correspondent at the venue, everything was set, food and drinks were available, music was being provided by the Nigerian Police Band when news of the crash filtered in. People started hissing while others sheared tears about the unfortunate incident. In less than thirty minutes, the dignitaries trooped out of the venue dejected while the food and assorted drinks were taken away by the suppliers. It was indeed a very sad and agonizing moment for most of the people at the venue.
Meanwhile, the Ondo State Government has described the crash as shocking.
In a statement on Thursday in Akure, Mr. Eni Akinsola, Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Olusegun Mimiko, said that a commissioner, family members, associates and other top government officials were involved in the crash.
â€œInformation available indicates that there were casualties and a few survivors of this unfortunate crash. We are, however, still expecting more information.
â€œNo doubt, this is an unfortunate disaster in the life of our dear state. We can only pray that God will visit the state with mercy and give us all the strength to bear these unfortunate losses.
â€œWe ask all residents to be in a sober and prayerful mood at these trying times, as God is indeed the only person we should call upon in this period,â€ Akinsola said.
According to him, government assures that further and better information will be released on the crash as soon as they are available.
The number of people killed in a plane crash in Lagos has increased up to 17, two children among them. The plane carrying 27 people and conveying the body of the former Ondo State governor, Olusegun Agagu, crashed this morning at the Murtala Muhammed airport in Lagos immediately after take-off.By now the rescue operation has ended. Agagu’s body recovered.
The charter flight took off at about 09:30 from the domestic terminal at Lagos Murtala Mohammed International Airport.
Officials said the plane crashed on to open land within the airport complex close to a fuel storage a minute after take-off.
Spokesman for the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Supo Atobatele, added that the engine of the jet had failed on takeoff and it crash-landed and burst into flames.
Aviation Ministry spokesman, Joe Obi, added that the plane nose-dived into a building in the area: “The plane couldn’t lift properly so it just came down.”
Spokesperson of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, Yakubu Datti, told Al Jazeera that there are five survivors. They have been rushed to a nearby hospital, he added.Datti confirmed that the Black Box of the aircraft have been recovered and investigation will commence immediately.
One of the eyewitnesses, Ahmad Safian, told the BBC: “I heard a loud bang and then there was lots of black smoke. The security forces rushed straight to the scene. I saw three bodies removed from the wreckage.”
He also said the road to the airport was blocked for a short time but operations were continuing as normal at the airport.
The passengers, perished and survived…
An Associated Airline jet was carrying seven crew and 20 passengers heading to Akure, Ondo state for the burial of former Ondo State governor, Olusegun Agagu, who passed away September 13, 2013.
Agagu’s family members and Ondo state officials were in the plane. Two of Agaguâ€™s children, a son and a daughter, did not survive. However, ex-governor’s wife was not in the plane crash; she and Agaguâ€™s brother, Femi, arrived Akure earlier in a separate flight.
On board the ill-fated aircraft were also Agaguâ€™s only son, Feyi, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Deji Falae and a staff in the Protocol Department of the Governorâ€™s office, Mr Layi Daji. Also on board were MrTunji Okusanja Jr and his father, Tunji Okusanja.
However, while Okusanja senior is said to have sustained injuries and unconscious, his son is believed to have been among those who died. The Okusanja family owns the MIC Caskets, a popular funeral undertakers in Lagos Island. An employee of MIC Caskets, identified as Chijioke, was also among the perished.