Abuja plane crash: Residents recount near-death experience

The tranquility that characterises Nassau Village in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, was on Sunday disturbed when a jet belonging to the Nigerian Air Force crash landed in the area.

Noise from aircraft is not strange to residents of the village, being one of the settlements that bordered the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport.

But the Sunday experience was not only strange, it was a near-death experience for them.

It started with a loud and unusual noise from the ill-fated aircraft, followed by a loud explosion and then billows of thick smoke and fire.

By the time it all subsided, seven souls have been lost.

The jet en route Minna in Niger State crashed close to the runway of the Abuja airport after reporting engine failure.

The plane was said to be on its way to Minna to rescue 27 students and 15 staff of Government Science College, Kagara, who were kidnapped on Wednesday.

As of the time our correspondents arrived the scene of the accident which was said to have occurred at about 11am, distraught residents who were watching rescue operations from a safe distance were telling stories of how it happened and how they were saved by luck.