From yesterday's Independant Online News:
250 escape death after crash-landing
September 05 2001 at 06:47PM
Kano, Nigeria - Around 250 passengers and crew escaped unhurt when an EgyptAir Airbus-300 plane, en route from Cairo to Abidjan, crash-landed in northern Nigeria, airport officials and passengers said on Wednesday.
The plane was attempting to make an emergency landing at the international airport in Kano, northern Nigeria's largest city, early on Tuesday when it suddenly nose-dived, they said.
Those aboard were Egyptians, Indians, Lebanese and Pakistanis. Most were business travellers, airport officials said.
Shocked passengers taken off the plane said they had been warned the plane was to make an emergency landing in Kano because of engine trouble when it suddenly dropped.
'It was a minor fault which our technicians have started to rectify'
"There was a warning from the cockpit that we would have to land, because of problems they were having. Then all of a sudden, we fell," said an Indian woman who gave her name only as Sahindra.
Mahfouz Khan, a Pakistani, said: "We are shocked. We are traumatised... crashes like this are happening too frequently."
He also condemned the way the passengers had been treated after the crash, complaining about the "impossible" conditions in the Kano hotel in which they had been lodged.
Steve Ogedengbe, zonal manager of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency said the plane, which could be seen at the far side of the airport, was undergoing examination.
Egyptian embassy officials in Lagos declined to comment.
Staff at the EgyptAir office in Lagos played down the crash-landing as the result of a "minor fault".
"It was a minor fault which our technicians have started to rectify," said the airline's assistant district manager in Lagos, Roushdy Ehsan.
He denied that the plane crash-landed but said it had developed a fault after landing.
But passengers and airport officials denied the airline's claim.
"There was a problem mid-air," said a Lebanese passenger who declined to reveal his name.
"The pilot knew of the problem an hour after takeoff. We do not know why he decided to continue on the journey," he said.
The plane was expected to be repaired later on Wednesday and resume its flight for Abidjan, airline officials said.
An Indian passenger who declined to give his name said he would not be boarding the aircraft.
"We have no more confidence in the plane. Even if it is repaired, we would need additional guarantee before we could board it again," he said. - Sapa-AFP
Behind every "no" is a "yes"