The door of an aircraft owned by Dana Air reportedly fell off on Wednesday after it had landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Witnesses said the exit door fell off while the aircraft was taxiing along the runway.
Passengers on the airline — which flew from Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, — were said to have been left panicking.
An aviation expert told TheCable that had the incident happened while they were 30,000 feet above the earth, the passengers would have been “suck out”.
One Ola Brown, who said he boarded the flight, said the door was unstable throughout the flight.
“Flew Dana. Exit door was unstable throughout the flight. As we touched down it fell off,” he wrote via his Twitter handle.
Flew Dana. Exit door was unstable throughout the flight. As we touched down it fell off. Scary stuff. pic.twitter.com/eDtTlNi2TZ
— Ola Brown(Orekunrin) (@NaijaFlyingDr) February 7, 2018
Dapo Sanwo, another passenger, said there had been indications of alleged lack of maintenance of the aircraft.
According to him, “I also was on that flight. The door panel was loose indicative of lack of maintenance.”
If there is a class action lawsuit against Dana for gross negligence and endangering the lives of passengers. I want in, I also was on that flight : 25d : The Door Panel was loose indicative of lack of maintenance. pic.twitter.com/TzDWnGboGJ
— DapoSanwo (@DapoSanwo) February 7, 2018
What happened on your flight @DanaAir??? An emergency door falling off a moving plane? 😮 What of if this happened mid-air? What on Earth is going on? @RotimiAmaechi & @hadisirika, Nigerians demand an immediate explanation and sanctions. This is UNBELIEVABLE! pic.twitter.com/QB3rQCJy88
— Osasu Obayiuwana (@osasuo) February 7, 2018
AIRLINE SHIFTED THE BLAME
In a statement released shortly after the incident, the airline said it “could never have happened without a conscious effort by a passenger to open it”, adding that a thorough investigation had commenced.
Below is the statement released by Kingsley Ezenwa, the airline’s manager, media and communications.
We wish to state categorically that this could never have happened without a conscious effort by a passenger to open it.
By design, the emergency exit door of our aircraft are plug-type backed by pressure, which ordinary cannot fall off without tampering or conscious effort to open by a crew member or passenger.
We also wish to enlighten the author that, when an aircraft is airborne, it is fully pressurized and there was no way the seat or door could have been ‘shaking’ as insinuated.
A thorough inspection was however carried out on the said aircraft upon landing in Abuja, by our engineers and a team from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), and no issue was reported. There was also no threat to safety at any point.
The flight was only delayed for 8 minutes as we needed to demonstrate to the regulators that the safety and comfort of our guests is at the centre of our operations.
We wish to apologize to our guests for any inconvenience such report may have caused and for the slight delay on the return service to Lagos.
A thorough investigation of the concerned passenger is ongoing.
As one of the oldest and most experienced airline in Nigeria, we remain committed to global best practices.
Editor’s note: The picture in the story is for illustrative purposes