NIGERIA – About 261 people inside plane including para pilgrim who came back from Mecca and crew die by tragic after flat tire trigger plane crash terrible.
Under-inflated tires burned all 261 passengers on the flight to death as they tried to escape the inevitable death trap.
The flight, which took off on July 11 31 years ago, was carrying pilgrims returning to Nigeria from Makkah. Many charred bodies were seen falling from the plane.
The Nationair Canada DC-8 caught fire after takeoff from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and was immediately destroyed by flames which spread to the cabin before crashing in the Arabian desert. This incident killed all 247 Pilgrims on board and 14 crew on board.
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Canadian and Saudi authorities investigated and found the tragic fireball crash was triggered by an under-inflated tire, exacerbated by a series of errors of judgment in the days leading up to the tragic accident, the team ground support personnel lacking sufficient knowledge and experience.
The crew only became aware of the fire when a flight attendant rushed into the cockpit reporting “smoke in the back – very bad”.
Prior to takeoff, Nigeria Airways Flight 2120’s chief engineer saw that two tires were below minimum for flight delivery and tried to inflate them – but no nitrogen gas was available. But despite this, the project manager, not wanting to delay, gave permission to take off.
As a result, shortly after getting into the sky, one of the tires overheated and weakened. The other tires were also in the same condition causing rubbing which caused the fatal fire.
Saudi Arabia’s Civil Aviation Department at the time said the pilot attempted to return for an emergency landing after informing air traffic control that he had lost control of the plane and there was a fire.
According to the Aviation Safety Network, the fire grew into a blaze as the fire engulfed the plane’s fuel tanks, eventually engulfing the cabin.
Burning bodies began falling from the plane as seat belts were shattered by fire – before the plane crashed just 1km from the runway.
The Transportation Safety Board later found that if the crew had allowed the landing gear to be extended, the accident could have been avoided.
Immediately after the tragedy, a group of Toronto-based Nationair Canada flight attendants raised funds to create a commemorative plaque bearing the names of the victims.
As a result of the crash, Nationair Canada experienced serious public image and reliability issues and was devastated financially. The airline owes the Canadian government millions of Canadian dollars in unpaid landing fees.
Creditors began confiscating planes and demanding money in advance for services, and the company was declared bankrupt in May 1993, owing debts totaling 75 million Canadian dollars (864 billion rupees ).
Four years later, in 1997, Robert Obadia – owner of Nationair Canada and its parent company Nolisair – pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud in connection with the company’s activities.
This fatal accident is not the first in Saudi Arabia that kills all passengers on board. In 1979 a flight from Nigeria to Pakistan – again carrying pilgrims returning from Mecca crashed and killed all 151 people on board, 140 passengers and 11 crew.
Shortly after the incident, a government spokesman said the captain reported smoke in the cabin after takeoff and then lost contact with the plane.
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