All 147 passengers and 6 crewmembers onboard were killed. The aircraft crashed into a densely populated area in Lagos, the country’s biggest city, and dozens of people on the ground are believed to have been killed, but no official statistics have been released.
Stella Odua, Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, said the pilot sent distress signals indicating the aircraft had suffered engine failure moments before the crash. It is also reported that the aircraft struck power lines and trees, and as it fell, it tore through roofs of various buildings, including two multi-storey apartment complexes, a printing press, and a woodworking studio.
Captain Oscar Wilson, director of flight operations at Dana Air, said although the aircraft was 22 years old, it was in good condition. Wilson said,
We don't allow our aircraft to fly if not in perfect condition. I did the test flight of the questioned aircraft myself, there was nothing wrong with the aircraft, it was okay.
Nigeria has an extremely poor record of air safety. There have been about forty fatal crashes in the last fifty years. However, the country’s aviation industry has been doing its best to improve air travel safety, and there have not been crashes in the last seven years.
Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, visited the crash site and promised a comprehensive investigation. He also announced that there will be a national three-day mourning. Jonathan said,
We have been working very hard to improve aviation in this country. This particular incident is a major setback for us... I will make sure that this will not repeat itself in the country.
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is helping an investigation already underway by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). Dana Air has suspended all flights as the investigation gets underway.
The chief executive of the airline, Jacky Hathiramani, said Dana Air is "deeply saddened" by the crash. Hathiramani said, "We are doing everything we can to assist them in this extremely difficult time."