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Dana Air plane runs into bush at Port Harcourt airport

A Dana Air aircraft flying from Abuja to Port Harcourt overshot the runway and ran stopped in a bush at the Port Harcourt airport on Tuesday night.

This is the second incident involving a Dana aircraft in less than one month, after the exit door of an aircraft belonging to the airline flew off on landing at the Lagos International Airport a fortnight ago.

An airplane is said to have overshot the runway when it moves past the point where it was supposed to stop.

It was gathered that the incident could be due to the downpour in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

“A Dana aircraft numbered 9J0363, flying from Abuja to the Port Harcourt airport, has overshot the Port Harcourt runway,” said Henrietta Yakubu, General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.

“The incident was suspected to have been caused by heavy rainfall, which was accompanied by strong wind and storm in Port Harcourt.

“No casualty was recorded, as all passengers on board were safely evacuated.”

Nigerians had raised safety concerns after the earlier incident in Lagos when the exit door of a Dana aircraft flew off on landing, but the airline issued a statement insisting that a passenger aboard the plane must have tampered with the door, forcing it to fly out the way it did.

“We wish to state categorically that this could never have happened without a conscious effort by a passenger to open it (exit door),” a statement issued by the airline read.

“We also wish to enlighten the author that, when an aircraft is airborne, it is fully pressurized and there was no way the seat or door could have been ‘shaking’ as insinuated.”

In June 2012, an Abuja-to-Lagos Dana aircraft crashed into two buildings in the Iju-Ishaga neighbourhood of Lagos, killing all 153 persons on board and 10 more on the ground.

Investigations into the crash revealed that it was caused by a combination of mechanical failure and pilot error.

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