In what could have been a catastrophic incident, a Max Air aircraft carrying 143 passengers and one infant from Yola to Abuja crash-landed on Sunday after one of its tyres reportedly burst into flames mid-air.
The incident happened at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and caused panic among the passengers.
Eyewitnesses at the airport reported that the Aerodrome Rescue and Fire-fighting Service (ARFFS) operatives quickly mobilized to put out the fire, and emergency officials were on hand to evacuate the passengers from the runway to the airport building.
Dr. Ogirima’s account of the sad event
Dr. Mike Ogirima, a past President of the Nigerian Medical Association, revealed what happened.
He hinted that the event took place shortly after takeoff from Yola Airport, and as a surgeon, he refrained from announcing the incident to the other passengers, fearing that it would cause undue panic.
“We thank God. We are still on the runway and pilot has reassured us. He has called for the stairs and we are now disembarking from the runway to be evacuated to the airport building at the arrival hall.
“We bless God because we have witnessed the pull out of the tyre right from the airport in Yola and we went into prayer session. I never announced it as a surgeon so as not to cause any panic but we bless God,” Dr. Ogirima said.
Max Air Announcement
Max Air issued a formal statement providing a detailed narrative of the incident that took place at the airport on Sunday.