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Nigeria, US collaborate to probe Wigwe’s helicopter crash

Nigeria, US collaborate to probe Wigwe’s helicopter crash
February 12
15:29 2024

The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) is collaborating with the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to investigate the helicopter crash that killed Herbert Wigwe, the group chief executive officer (GCEO) of Access Holdings Plc.

The GCEO of Access Holdings was in the chopper alongside his wife, son and Abimbola Ogunbanjo, the former group chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group).

All six people onboard have been confirmed dead. 

In a statement on Monday, Bimbo Oladeji, NSIB’s director, public affairs and consumer protection, said the collaboration between both countries is in line with chapter 5 subsection 27 of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) annex 13, to the convention on international civil aviation-aircraft accident and incident investigation.

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“Regrettably, the United States authorities have now confirmed that everyone onboard the aircraft lost their lives in the crash,” the director said.

“The deceased are two crew members comprising a pilot in command and a “safety pilot” and four passengers namely Dr Herbert Wigwe, his wife, son, and Mr Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, (NGX Group).

“In the aftermath of the accident, the Director-General, NSIB, Captain Alex Badeh, established contact with NTSB, in accordance with Chapter 5 subsection 27 of ICAO’s Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation-Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, which grants a State (nation) special interest in an accident involving its citizens.

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“This participation ensures access to relevant information and facilitates cooperation with the investigating authorities, towards ensuring the investigation reaches a conclusive outcome.

“The ongoing discussion between the NSIB and NTSB has highlighted the diligent investigation efforts of the NTSB.

“NTSB investigators were present at the crash scene in Halloran Springs, California, on Saturday to collect evidence and conduct initial on-scene documentation.

“The documentation process included aerial mapping of the wreckage with a drone, and site measurements.

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“Correspondence between the NSIB and NTSB further revealed that the NTSB investigation into the crash is being led by Aaron Sauer as the investigator in charge, supported by Mark Ward as the deputy investigator in charge.

“Several other NTSB investigators will also be examining various aspects of the accident, including airworthiness and maintenance structures, operations, meteorology and air traffic control.”

Oladeji said the NTSB is already moving the wreckage to a secure location for in-depth examination and analysis.

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