Some residents of Salvation Road in Opebi area of Ikeja, Lagos have expressed shock over the crash of a helicopter into a building, thanking God for saving their lives.
The residents, who spoke at the scene of the incident on Friday, called for proper maintenance of aircraft before flying.
Mrs Grace Awolaja, a resident, said that it was shocking and surprising to experience such an unexpected incident.
According to Awolaja, the helicopter was seen hovering in the sky for some minutes before crashing into the building.
“We thank God that nobody was affected in the building but I learnt that the pilot and two people died,’’ Awolaja said.
Another resident, Alhaji Saliu Bamidele, suggested that engine seizure might be responsible for the crash.
Bamidele said that the helicopter crashed at the back of house No. 16, Salvation Road, damaging two cars and the fence of the building.
Mr Mark Okeke, a fabric shop owner in front of the building, said that the helicopter was cited in the air struggling to crash-land in the canal but “suddenly picked up and faced the building’’.
“We just heard loud sound with heavy dust from the house.
“Many occupants of the building were not at home.
“However, two out of three persons who were on board of the helicopter were reportedly dead while third person who sustained injuries reportedly died later in the day.
The Acting Coordinator, Lagos Territorial Office of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye confirmed that the helicopter belonged to Quorum Aviation Ltd.
Ibrahim said that the incident occurred about 12.47 p.m. at 16, Salvation Road, Opebi, Lagos.
He confirmed that two persons died immediately while one person was taken to the intensive Care Unit of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).
“The helicopter, Bell 206 with registration number 5N-BQW, which was returning from training in Port Harcourt, crashed into a building at No. 16A Salvation Road, Opebi, Ikeja,’’ Farinloye said.
An official of the Accident Investigations Bureau (AIB) also confirmed the incident, saying that emergency services operators had been deployed to the scene.
The General Manager, Public Affairs of AIB, Tunji Oketunbi, said that the AIB team of investigators were also on ground at the scene of the incident.
Oketunbi assured that the bureau would begin investigations into the crash immediately.