Seven personnel dead as Nigerian Air Force plane crashes near airport in ABuja

Rescuers and people gather near the debris of a Nigerian air force plane, which according to the aviation minister crashed while approaching the Abuja airport runway, in Abuja, Nigeria.

A small Nigerian air force passenger plane crashed just outside Abuja airport due to engine failure on Sunday, killing all seven people on board, the air force said.

“First responders are at the scene. Sadly, all 7 personnel on board died in the crash,” said air force spokesman Ibikunle Daramole said in a statement.

The Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft crashed while returning to the Abuja airport after reporting engine failure en route to Minna, he said. The city of Minna lies about 110 kilometres (68 miles) northwest of Abuja.

People watch as rescuers inspect the debris from a Nigerian air force plane, which crashed while approaching the Abuja airport runway according to aviation minister, in Abuja, Nigeria.

The plane crashed due to engine failure on Sunday, Nigeria’s aviation minister said.

Hadi Sirika said on his Twitter account that “a military aircraft King Air 350 has just crashed short of our Abuja runway after reporting engine failure en route Minna.”

The twin propeller engine King Air 350i, a variant of the model, takes up to eight passengers, according to the plane manufacturer’s website.

In scrubland just outside the airport perimeter, dozens of military and airport officials picked through the charred remnants of the airplane.

Fire engines and ambulances stood by. The smell of burning chemicals lingered in the air but no fire or smoke were visible, a witness said.

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