Britons killed in Nigeria airline crash air crash

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At least five Britons were killed when a Nigerian airliner crashed only minutes before it was due to land, it was confirmed last night.

The British High Commission in the Nigerian capital Lagos said that five British men were among the 141 people who died when the Boeing 727 came down at about 5pm on Thursday as it was nearing Lagos on an internal flight from the oil city of Port Harcourt.

Commission spokesman John Watam said: "We definitely have five British men confirmed as passengers, but we are trying to get more information on reports there may be a sixth. We understand that the plane crashed about 60 miles from Lagos and part of it has been seen in a large lagoon.

"The terrain in the area is making it very difficult for rescue teams to reach the crash site and recover bodies and debris.

"We do not know which part of the aircraft is in the water or if any bodies have been recovered. I understand that it is only really accessible by boat.

"We have consular officials at the scene and are desperately trying to find out as much information as we can about what has happened."

Flight ADC086, operated by Aviation Development Company, had 132 passengers and nine crew on board. Nigerian aviation officials have confirmed there were no survivors.

It has emerged that one of the Britons involved was an English employee of Wireline and Testing, a division of oil services giant Schlumberger. A Schlumberger spokesman in Aberdeen said the man's family were being informed and no details were being released.

Two employees of London-based oil company Haliburton - thought to be an American and a Dutch man - were also on board, but a company spokesman said it had no reports of any Britons being involved.

There are several large oil companies in Port Harcourt, and the flight between the city and Lagos is generally used only by people working in the industry.

Nigeria's aviation minister is at the crash scene and a top-level inquiry has been launched.