Sunday, July 22, 2012

Group seeks release of accident audio transcript: Dana Air McDonnell Douglas MD-83, 5N-RAM, Flight 9J-992 - Lagos, Nigeria

IN a bid to ensure transparency in the ongoing investigation of the Dana airline crash of June 3, 2012, the Aviation Round Table (ART), has asked the Federal Government to release the Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) audio transcription of the ill-fated aircraft. 

 ART is a professional body, whose aim is to pursue the advancement, growth and promote professionalism in the aviation industry. The call was made by the President of ART, Capt Dele Ore, while briefing journalists at the group’s headquarters in Lagos last week.

He wondered why the Federal Government has refused to release the transcription of the audio-tape, arguing that in other climes it would have been made public.

Still on the Dana crash, the ART boss, said that there have been several speculations as to the cause of the accident but that ART like other professional bodies have decided to distance themselves from these speculations.

On the reports allegedly credited to the Minister of Aviation, Mrs Stella Oduah- Ogiewonyi in a media briefing that the plane crashed at 3.43 pm, Ore said that one of the ingredients the minister should have included in the preliminary report is the take off time of the flight from Abuja and the estimated time of arrival in Lagos.

The body called for a review of the emergency management and response time of the rescue services such as the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and others to the Dana crash, as the rescue response and management was a shame to the country

According to him, “while the management of the rescue services during Sosoliso and Belview crash in 2005 was considered a disaster, the management of the rescue services during the Dana crash was a shame of the nation.”

He called on the Federal Government to make the first response team in the event of any emergency of accident should be the local government instead of the NEMA and LASEMA that are not only far away but that would not also respond on time.

According to him, “the first responder to emergency or accident cannot always be the LASEMA or NEMA that are located at the state capitals and Abuja. It makes no sense for victims of air crash at Iju-Ishaga, Abeokuta or Calabar. If they must wait, the so lucky survivors, who need first aid will have no hope of surviving.”

He said that NEMA and LASEMA should be come in as contingency plans in the event that the local emergency services are not able to handle the emergency rescue operations.

The General Secretary of ART, Mr. Sam Akerele, who read the group’s position paper, said that the Federal Government should be blamed for non-release of previous accident reports instead of the investigator, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB). He added that the investigation into Belview and Sosoliso crashes had since been completed and handed over to the government and submitted to the presidency in line with the Act, which established AIB in 2006.


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