Briton 'killed in Nigeria plane crash'

 

A woman believes her sister was aboard a plane which crashed in Nigeria, killing everyone on board.

Jill Chime, from Liverpool, told Radio 5 Live's Up All Night programme her family had seen a passenger list which included the name of her sister, Antonia Attuh.

Ms Chime said another sister had flown to Nigeria to help other family members find Ms Attuh's body, which they believe is in a hospital mortuary.

All 153 passengers died when the Dana Air flight crashed in a neighbourhood about five miles north of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, south-west Nigeria, on Sunday.

The plane was coming from the Nigerian capital Abuja when it crashed into a printing works and residential buildings in the busy Iju-Ishaga suburb.

An unknown number of people on the ground were also killed.

The Foreign Office was unable to confirm whether Ms Attuh was aboard but a spokeswoman said: "It is believed that there was a dual British-Nigerian national on board the flight.

"The Foreign Office has been in contact with a member of her family and offered consular assistance."

Ms Chime said her sister had travelled to Nigeria frequently in recent years, and was going to Lagos to attend a course.

She said: "My sister was a wonderful person, quite an exceptional person. She was a statistician - maths was the thing she loved doing and loved most."

Ms Chime said she was at her parents' house on Sunday when they first heard about the crash.

She said: "My sister was travelling to Lagos and that was as far as I knew. I wasn't certain of what airline she had gone on.

"We were immediately concerned because we had spoken to my sister in the morning and she was telling us she was going to Lagos that afternoon.

"When I heard about the crash I had to try and find out what airline she had taken."

A cousin who was due to collect Ms Attuh from the airport told Ms Chime her sister was aboard the doomed Dana Air flight, which was also confirmed by Ms Attuh's husband, who had seen her off.

Ms Chime also said the airline also told her that her sister's name was on the final passenger list.

Her family, including another sister, are now trying to find Ms Attuh's body.

Ms Chime said: "I also have my cousin who yesterday had gone through 30-odd bodies trying to locate her, and today he has gone through a further 40. But as of yet, we still have no confirmation of a corpse.

"It is very difficult and distressing."

Ms Chime called for an inquiry into the cause of the crash.

She said: "Only then can the lessons of this tragedy be learned. My sister would not have rested until she had gotten to the bottom of what happened and why it happened."

The Nigerian government yesterday suspended the licence of Dana Air airline as a matter of safety and grounded all of its flights while it investigates the accident.

The Dana Air McDonnell Douglas MD-83's crew radioed the tower at the airport in Lagos shortly before the crash to say they had engine trouble, but the exact cause remains unclear.

PA

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