Thursday, August 02, 2012

Ill-fated plane engine was changed when it was faulty —Dana Air official

The head of Corporate Communications at Dana Air, Tony Usidamen, on Thursday, testified before the coroner presiding over the inquest into the crash and death of the 153 passengers on board the aircraft that crashed in IJu/Ishaga on June 3, 2012, Mr Alexander Oyetade Komolafe.

Usidamen, while being cross-examined by lawyers, said though the ill-fated plane had engine failure due to bird attacks two years ago, the engine was promptly replaced with a new one.

According to him, on April 19, 2010, when the airline discovered that the engine of the plane was bad, it returned to safety and the engine was changed.

When asked by a counsel, Mr Adewale Adeniyi, if he was aware that the same aircraft, on May 23, 2012, had hydraulic leakage, he said he was not aware.

When another counsel, Mr Akintunde Ba-kare, from the Ministry of Justice, asked for the name of the engineer who certified the air worthiness of the aircraft before it flew on June 3, he said he could not give the name.

Komolafe, however, said witnesses should not be seen shying away from answering questions.

Usidame, thereby, answered that the engineer who certified the aircraft and several other engineers were still working with Dana, adding that the ill-fated plane was in good and perfect working condition when it took off.

He also said the aircraft had gone on two trips on that fateful day, adding that it was while on the third trip that it crashed.

Another witness from the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Mr Emmanuel Dialla, told the court that their investigation is non-punitive, while the agency would not apportion any blame, though it was out to prevent recurrent.

While being cross-examined by Bolaji Ayorinde, Dialla said the preliminary report submitted to the court were factual findings and evidences, but held that the investigation was still going, as he could not tell if there was still going to be any addition or substration to the submitted report.

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