Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has declared three days of national mourning after a passenger jet crashed into a Lagos suburb on Sunday and killed all 153 people on board.
Emergency workers used cadaver dogs and cranes to search the site for corpses on Monday and said they feared many more people on the ground died as a result of the crash. Officials said searchers were still looking for the aircraft’s “black box” recorder.
Jonathan “has declared a three-day period of national mourning for all those who lost their lives in the Dana plane crash in Lagos today”, a statement from the president’s s office said.
After viewing the site of the crash, the country’s worst in almost two decades, Jonathan described the incident as a “setback” for the country’s aviation industry.
“By the end of the day, I will make sure that this will not repeat itself in the country,” he said.
Reporting from Lagos, Al Jazeera’s Yvonne Ndege said that according to Nigeria’s Ministry of Aviation the pilots had reported a problem to air traffic control shortly before the plane went down. However, she added authorities have not yet released an official statement as to the cause of the crash.
“Engine failure is one thing that’s being discussed, and it appears from everything we’re hearing so far that it could’ve been the cause,” Ndege said.
Harold Denuren, of Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority, confirmed that there were no survivors from the accident involving the Dana Air flight from Abuja to Lagos.
“The fear is that since it happened in a residential area, there may have been many people killed,” Yushau Shuaib, a spokesman for Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency, said.
The Boeing MD83 came down in a densely populated neighbourhood near Lagos’ Murtala Muhammed International Airport, destroying buildings.