A combined team of the Nigerian Army and Air Force have cordoned off the crash site of the Air Force Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft that crashlanded near the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Many journalists who arrived at the scene with their live broadcast equipment for coverage were stopped and prevented from getting close to the crash site.
The security operatives also attacked the journalists with sniffer dogs and asked them to vacate the area.
They accused the media of fuelling insurgency and instigating ethnic crisis with their reports.
A senior Air Force officer said, “I hate journalists. You are the cause of banditry and insurgency in the country.”
As of the time of filing this report, only the rescue team from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and firefighters were granted access to the scene.
BREAKING: Six Feared Dead As @NigAirForce Plane Crashes In Abuja | Sahara Reporters
The aircraft departed Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at 10:33 am with six persons on board, including 2 crew members.
READ MORE: https://t.co/YKBGT3jbT8 pic.twitter.com/IohMPpc4N8
— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) February 21, 2021
Meanwhile, some of the villagers who spoke to SaharaReporters said they saw the ill-fated aircraft while coming down.
An eyewitness, Kingsley Onuche, said he was in church when he heard people shouting: “Blood of Jesus, Blood of Jesus.”
He explained further that when he came out, he discovered the pilot if the plane had lost control and the aircraft was coming down.
“When I came out of the church, I saw the plane nosediving and later crashed before the explosion,” he added.
“The only person that was still alive was burnt from down part and the person was a female.”
The ill-fated aircraft was en route to Minna in Niger State when it crashed close to the runway of the Abuja airport after reporting engine failure.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, in a tweet, described the accident as “fatal” and prayed for the “departed souls”.
“A military aircraft King Air 350 has just crashed short of our Abuja runway after reporting engine failure en route Minna,” he tweeted.