According to The PUNCH, scores of passengers onboard an Air Peace aircraft from Abuja were said to have “disembarked safely” when one of the plane’s tyres blew off after landing at the Ilorin Airport in Kwara State.
It was gathered that the incident happened on Friday around 10am while the B737-500 aircraft with registration number 5N-BQR was taxiing to the parking bay at the airport.
Though the number of passengers aboard the aircraft was unknown as of the time of filing this report, no one was reportedly injured during the incident and no life was lost.
Spokesperson for Air Peace, Stanley Olise, confirmed this to The PUNCH in a telephone chat on Saturday, adding that “as we speak, the tyre has been fixed and the aircraft has been moved from the runway.”
“Our officials reported the incident to the authorities as statutorily required,” he added.
In a follow-up statement, the airline debunked reports (not by The PUNCH) that its plane crashed at the airport.
“Our aircraft neither crashed nor crash-landed in Ilorin or in any place for that matter,” the statement partly read, adding that “Air Peace is committed to providing peaceful connectivity across cities and relentlessly observes the highest standards of safety in its operations.”
Also, the Accident Investigation Bureau, the investigating body in charge of all aviation-related accidents and incidents in Nigeria, confirmed that the incident occurred but said there was no plane crash.
AIB General Manager, Public Affairs, Tunji Oketumbi, told The PUNCH that investigators evaluated the incident and won’t be investigating it.
When asked, the AIB spokesman said, “Yes. It happened yesterday. AIB Safety investigators did an evaluation of the occurrence and decided not to investigate. The aeroplane has been released to the operator (Airpeace). The delay in opening the airport is down to the recovery of the aeroplane from the runway by FAAN (Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria) and Airpeace. The aeroplane had a burst tyre on landing.”
Recall that the tyre of an Air Peace aircraft also blew off at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja in January 2019 while it was taxiing for take-off on the runway.
The incident sent the passengers on Boeing 737 aircraft, who were heading to Benin from Abuja, into panic mode but no life was lost and no one was injured.