Chanchangi Airlines 737 crashes on landing in Nigeria

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Boeing 737-200 owned and operated by Chanchangi Airlines has overshot the runway at Nigeria's Port Harcourt International Airport and crashed into a field. There are no reports of serious injuries or structural damage to the aircraft, which had arrived from Nigerian capital Lagos.

The crash occurred at 5:44 local time yesterday. Passenger numbers are unclear. A Rivers State police spokeswoman said there were 47 passengers and crew on board, but an airport official said there were thirty passengers and did not mention crew at all. The Aviation Herald reports both 43 and 45 passengers.

The aircraft was on flight 5B138 and registered 5N-BIG. It sustained some damage in the accident, and two passengers were treated for minor injuries at the airport. The accident occurred in gusting winds and drizzle after a heavy downpour, and the airline said that the accident occurred because the rain had left the tarmac slippery. As the plane turned onto the taxiway at the runway's end, it skidded off the paved surface.

There is a history of poor safety in Nigerian aviation. Officials have promised improvements but analysts say corruption is preventing this from happening.