A helicopter belonging to Bristow Helicopters with 12 people on board Wednesday, crashed into the Lagoon near the Oworonshoki end of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.
According to an eyewitness, the aircraft marked 5NBGD was said to be coming from one of the oil rigs in Escravos area of the Niger Delta and was said to be heading for Lagos Island when it went down around 3.p.m.
Briefing the media at about 7 30 pm, on rescue mission so far, Mr. Kolawole Akindele, General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management, Agency, LASEMA explained, “ The crash happened few minutes after 3:00pm and as soon as we received the distress call we move immediately to the scene.
“So far six people out of 12 on board were rescued, while four dead bodies were also recovered and deposited at the Lagos Mainland Hospital.
“Six survivors are receiving medical treatment at Gbagada General Hospital, while four others are receiving treatment at Afolabi Hospital, Oworonsoki and they are responding to treatment.
“Rescue team is still in search of two others as I speak, while rescue operation is still on-going. The situation is however, calm now.” Akindele, declined to disclose the names of the survivors claiming security reasons.
However, a resident, Mr. Emmanuel Akinbiyi, who witnessed the crash, narrated thus: “At about 3:00 pm, I was heading to my friend’s place to collect a document from him, when suddenly, from a few distance, I saw a thick black smoke tumbling down from the sky, before I knew what was happening there was a deafening sound as it hit the waters.
“Initially, I did not know what it was but on racing to the scene I discovered it was a helicopter. Immediately, people gathered around the scene screaming for help for the trapped victims.
“The local divers around provided the first rescue operation as they went after the trapped victims before the police and other rescue team arrived. I have never seen such an incident before, it’s scary. ”