Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sidi, yesterday, said the agency would have been able to rescue some of the victims of the Dana ill-fated plane crash if not for the massive crowd of people which impeded the quick response of the agency.
Speaking during an interactive session with newsmen at the Officers Mess, Nigerian Airforce base, Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos, Alhaji Sidi pointed out that the major problem that NEMA faced, while carrying out its rescue operations, was the crowd of people that kept trooping to the scene of the accident.
He stressed that it became so difficult for the agency in accessing the place where the crash occurred and to also carry out its duties under such circumstances.
He said: “During the Dana crash, we were all witnesses to what happened at the scene of that accident. The major challenge that we had was crowd control. We were all there, all of you were there and saw that crowd control was a major problem.
“It took us more than four hours to control crowd, in fact at a certain point we had to bring in the military to control the crowd, therefore no matter the type of equipment that you have, accessibility to the place and the crowd control is very important.”
Meanwhile, Federal Government, yesterday, said Dana Air’s aircraft were air-worthy, that it was not put under any pressure to restore the airline’s operating license. It also disclosed that it borrowed N106 billion from a Chinese company for building 11 terminals (six perishable and five commercial terminals) in Nigeria.
It will be recalled that Dana Airline Operating License was suspended as a result of the crash of one of its aircraft on June 3, in Lagos. Federal Government, through the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, at a briefing in Abuja, said though the crashed craft was still under investigation, it was satisfied with the air-worthiness of the airline.
She said: “Just yesterday (Wednesday), government lifted the suspension of Dana Airline which was suspended after the unfortunate and tragic crash of June 3. Our action is based on our satisfaction, after carrying out a technical audit of the operator, that the airline is airworthy.”