Saturday, February 08, 2014

8 years after, Sosoliso plane crash survivor tells her touching story

My name is Kechi Okwuchi. I am 24 years old, currently a senior at the University of St. Thomas, a private Catholic college in Houston, Texas, USA. I am a burn victim, and have been for eight years now. It’s almost hard to believe it’s been that long since my accident. Still, it feels like no matter how much times passes, the memory never dulls.

As everyone present is probably already aware, I am one of the two survivors of the Sosoliso plane crash that happened on December 10th, 2005. I left from Loyola Jesuit College, a boarding high school in Abuja, with 60 other schoolmates to board a plane headed to Port Harcourt for the Christmas holiday. It was about 20 minutes to landing that everything went wrong, because what we thought was turbulence became something much more serious. Chaos erupted in the plane and I held my friend’s hand from across the aisle. The last thing I remember is hearing a painfully loud sound, like metal scraping against metal, before I blacked out. I have no recollection of what happened between that moment and when I woke up a month later in Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, where I was sent for emergency treatment by the company Shell, which sponsored my entire care over there. 
Read more here:

NTSB Identification: WAS06RA005.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Saturday, December 10, 2005 in Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31, registration:
Injuries: 107 Fatal,3 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On December 10, 2005, at about 1408 hours local time, Nigerian registry 5N-BFD, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31, operated by Sosoliso Airlines, collided with the ground during an instrument approach to runway 21 at Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Instrument meteorlogical conditions and thunderstorms prevailed. The 2 flightcrew crewmembers, 5 cabin crew members, and 100 passengers were fatally injured. Three passengers received serious injuries. The aircraft was destroyed. There was fire. The departure point was Abuja, Nigeria.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Nigerian Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau, Abjua, Nigeria. The US Accredited Representative is Dennis Jones, NTSB, Washington, D.C. (202-314-6321)

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