Nigerian Police Address Helicopter Crash In Bauchi
The Nigeria Police Force has debunked reports that its helicopter crashed in Bauchi State.
This was contained in a statement by the NPF’s spokesperson, Frank Mba, on Thursday, titled, ‘Police helicopter in controlled safe-landing in Bauchi … Not crashed as reported, none of the occupants sustained any injury whatsoever.”
However, the Accident Investigation Bureau had in a statement on Thursday, said Bell 429 helicopter with Registration Marks 5N-MDA owned and operated by Nigeria Police Force was involved in an accident on Wednesday.
Though the AIB said there was no fatality, the accident bureau claimed that “there were some injuries.”
Debunking AIB’s claim, the police said the helicopter landed safely and commended the professionalism of the crew.
The police’s statement read,
“Helicopter, Bell 429 5N-MDA, flying from Abuja to Bauchi on Tuesday, February 26, 2022, was involved in a controlled safe landing at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport, Bauchi.
“The aircraft did not crash as being reported in some sections of the media and none of the occupants sustained any injury whatsoever. All six onboard including the pilot and co-pilot are in good condition.
“Similarly, the aircraft, which was flown by one of the best Police Pilots, was professionally safe-landed with minor damage on the rear rotor as a result of obstacle at the landing spot. The incident occurred around 7:30 pm (local time).
“The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has commended the Police Air-Wing for their professionalism in safe-landing the aircraft and averting any serious air-mishap.
“He further noted that the Nigeria Police Air-wing – with a fleet of one fixed-wing aircraft, a citation jet, and 13 helicopters – has got a strong history of air safety since its establishment in the year 1972.”
There’re some injuries but no fatality – AIB
The Accident Investigation Bureau had in a statement signed by its spokesman, Tunji Oketunbi, on Thursday, said the incident occurred around 07:30 pm on Wednesday.
While requesting video evidence of the “accident” from members of the public, AIB claimed, “There were some injuries but no fatality”.
The statement was titled, ‘Press Statement On Nigeria Police Helicopter Occurrence’.
It read, “On 26th January, 2022, Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria was notified by Nigerian Airspace Management Agency about an accident involving a Bell 429 helicopter with Registration Marks 5N-MDA owned and operated by Nigeria Police Force. The accident occurred on 26th January, 2022 around 7:30pm (Local Time) at Bauchi Airport.
“The NPF helicopter had departed Abuja at 16:54 UTC for Bauchi with six persons onboard maintaining 5,500ft.
“There were some injuries but no fatality.
“The investigating agency, AIB-N needs and hereby solicits for your assistance. We want the public to know that we would be amenable to receiving any video clips, evidence, or information any member of the public may have of the accident that can assist us with this investigation.
“The Bureau will appreciate that the general public and press respect the privacy of the people involved and not assume the cause of the accident until a formal report is released.”