Engineers, Cause Of Overland Airways’ ATR Fire Incident At Lagos Airport – Source | Independent Newspapers Nigeria

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    <p class="p2"><strong><span class="s2">Lagos – </span></strong><span class="s3">I</span><span class="s3">t has been gathered that engineers of Overland Airways were the cause of the fire incident on one of its ATR aircraft, which was engulfed in a fire incident early yesterday morning at its maintenance hangar at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.</span></p>

This is as Mr. Tunji Oketunbi, the General Manager, Public Affairs of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) said that its investigators have commenced investigation into the cause of the fire incident.

A source close to the scene confided in our correspondent that the incident occurred when one of the aircraft engineers of the airline motored the engine of the aircraft inside the hangar, which resulted to a spark.

The source said that the aircraft was already going through maintenance in the hangar at the time of the incident.

It was further gathered that the two tyres of the aircraft also caught fire and burst in the process. As the tyres burst, the aircraft immediately caught fire and sent huge smokes into the air, but no one was injured in the incident.

The source who declined to be mentioned because he was not authorized to speak on the issue, said that the personnel motored the engine inside the hangar and as the propeller started turning it hit the ground power, which sparked and caught fire.

The source said: “I went to the tarmac to see what happened. They were trying to motor the engine in the hangar, which is not done, especially for turbo props. We don’t do that because the rotor will be moving. So when they did that it hit ground power.

“The ground power sparked and caught fire and the two tyres of the aircraft caught fire and busted and the aircraft went into flames. The three persons in the aircraft walked out. I saw them walk out of the aircraft.

“Motoring is a situation where you switch on the ignition without fully starting the engine. In a car it is when you switch on the car halfway without starting the engine. You can listen and play music, wound down the glass and honk the horn,” the eyewitness who is also a pilot explained.

The early arrival of fire fighters from FAAN to the scene of the incident prevented what could have been another major catastrophe in the Nigerian aviation industry as other aircraft apart from the ones of Overland Airways were parked close by.

Fire fighters drove through the airside of the Runway 18 to the facility to put out the fire.

Also, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, the General Manager, Corporate Communications of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) confirmed the incident to our correspondent on phone.

She, however, said that no one was injured in the incident, which caused panic among passengers and other airport users when the thick smoke from the hangar oozed out.

Yakubu said there was no official reason for the fire, but said the AIB would soon swing into action.

Oketunbi in a telephone interview with our correspondent said that its investigators had visited the scene of the incident, but could not give reason for the fire outbreak.

He explained that investigation would reveal the cause of the incident.

He said: “We are investigating the incident. Our investigators have visited the place of the incident. No one can explain the reason at the moment until we are through with our investigation.”

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