By Samson Echenim
Five hundred and fifty pilgrims and 12 crew arriving from Jeddah after hajj escaped death after a Max Air Boeing 747 aircraft carrying them suddenly developed a technical fault that led to a hard side landing at the Minna International Airport, Niger State on Saturday.
The aircraft, a Boeing 747 with registration number, 5N-DBK carrying about 550 inbound pilgrims suddenly developed technical fault as it was about landing, no life was lost as all passengers were successfully disembarked.
According to reports, the pilot had struggled to stabilize the plane before he managed to make forced landing on Runway 05 of the airport, a development the source said caused damaged one of the plane’s four engines.
Officials from the Accident Investigations Bureau (AIB), Lagos had visited Minna and immediately inspected the partly damaged aircraft after which they went into a closed door meeting.
Public Relations Officer of the Niger State pilgrims welfare board, Hassana Isah when contacted confirmed the accident saying, “It was a technical fault, though we are yet to be adequately briefed by the experts on what happened but the place landed successfully”.
Hassana Isah however said the development would not affect the return journey of the over 2, 000 pilgrims still waiting to be airlifted back home from Saudi Arabia as she assured that all the pilgrims would be successfully brought back.