10 years Later, Remembering the Victims of the Dana Air Crash


Dana Air Flight 0992 was a scheduled Nigerian domestic passenger flight from Abuja to Lagos, Nigeria. On 3 June 2012, the McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft serving the route suffered a dual-engine failure during its approach to Lagos.

It failed to reach its intended destination and crashed onto buildings. The Dana Air crash killed all 153 people on board and six on the ground.

With 159 deaths, it remains the deadliest commercial airliner crash in Nigerian history since the Kano air disaster in 1973.

Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) concluded that both aircraft’s engines had lost power during the approach to Lagos. The incorrect assembly had severed the engines’ fuel line, causing fuel to not be delivered to both engines.

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During the initial sequence of the engine failure, the pilots opted not to declare an emergency until the second engine lost power during the flight’s final approach. Lack of situational awareness and poor decision-making by the pilots eventually caused the aircraft to crash into buildings.

The crash once again highlighted Nigeria’s aviation safety record. It was the fifth major Nigerian aviation disaster in a decade, after EAS Airlines Flight 4226 in 2002; Bellview Airlines Flight 210; Sosoliso Airlines Flight 1145 in 2005 and ADC Airlines Flight 053 in 2006.

Consequently, it led to a major overhaul of the nation’s aviation sector. Since the crash of Flight 992, Nigeria’s aviation safety improved significantly. Furthermore, the country eventually retained the category 1 status of its aviation safety.

The flight was carrying 147 passengers, including 15 foreign nationals from 9 countries and 6 crew members.

The foreigners were six Chinese nationals, three Americans, two Indians, and one each from Benin, Canada, Germany, France, and Lebanon.

Among those on board were:

Celestine Onwuliri, husband of then-Nigerian Foreign Minister Viola Onwuliri
Ehime Aikhomu, son of late Nigerian admiral and former Nigerian Vice President Augustus Aikhomu
Ibrahim Damcida, former Permanent Secretary of the Nigerian Ministry of Finance
Levi Chibuike Ajuonuma, then-spokesperson of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
Shehu Sa’ad, Director of major Nigerian bank Mainstreet Bank Limited

Local media reported that several senior military officials were also on the flight.

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