Former president of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Mike Ogirima has alleged that one of the tyres of the Max Air aircraft which crash-landed in Abuja on Sunday pulled out after takeoff in Yola.
The aircraft’s horrific landing caused panic among 144 passengers onboard. They were also six crew members.
The plane departed the Adamawa State capital at 14:05 pm and was scheduled to arrive Abuja at 3:00 pm before the incident.
Recounting his experience, Ogirima was quoted as saying by Daily Trust, “We thank God. We are still on the runway and pilot has reassured us. He has called for the stairs and we are now disembarking from the runway to be evacuated to the airport building at the arrival hall.
“We bless God because we have witnessed the pullout of the tyre right from the airport in Yola and we went into prayer session. I never announced it as a surgeon so as not to cause any panic but we bless God.”
A female passenger, who preferred to remain anonymous, said: “We felt a sudden jolt and the plane started shaking. We could hear a loud noise and knew something was wrong and we were very scared.
“But the crew did an amazing job of keeping us safe. They made sure we were wearing our seatbelts and helped us evacuate the plane quickly when the time was right.
“We are grateful to them for their quick thinking and the emergency responders for their bravery. We owe God our lives.”
The airline said in a statement that its aircraft experienced two tyre bursts on landing Abuja, and the emergency response team quickly responded at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.