- Title: NIGERIA: Children amongst victims of Nigerian plane crash.
- Date: 11th December 2005
- Summary: (W2) PORT HARCOURT, NIGERIA (DECEMBER 10, 2005) (REUTERS) WIDE OF PORT HARCOURT AIRPORT
- Embargoed: 26th December 2005 12:00
- Location: Nigeria
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes
- Reuters ID: LVAC12FUM2F5URS7ZRBV1ZGYALAZ
- Story Text: A Nigerian plane crashed during a storm at Port Harcourt airport on Saturday (December 10), killing 103 people including dozens of schoolchildren on their way home for the Christmas break, officials said.
The plane, a DC9 operated by Nigerian airline Sosoliso on its way from the capital Abuja to the oil city in the southern Niger Delta, crash-landed, broke into pieces and burst into flames, witnesses said.
"At the time of the crash a lot of people had been evacuated to the hospital. We can't confirm the position of things now. I cannot categoriacally tell you what has happened to anybody in this aircraft. We don't have the manifest. The airlnes said as soon as the manifest comes out, they will publish it," said a spokesman for the federal airport authority, Kayode Adeyinsa.
Seven of the 110 people on board survived the crash.
Emmanuel Unamba, secretary to the Catholic archbishop of Abuja, said he had received news that more than 50 students from the school were on the plane. He said they were going home to their parents because the Christmas break started on Saturday.
Civil aviation officials said the Sosoliso flight missed the airport runway, though two eyewitnesses said they saw it land on the tarmac. It was not clear exactly what had happened and police stopped reporters from getting close to the wreckage.
On board were 103 passengers and seven crew. Officials said 60 bodies were recovered in daylight hours.
A dozen ambulances were speeding up and down the runway, taking dead bodies covered in sheets to hospitals and mortuaries.
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