Nigeria Lost 2,038 Lives To Air Crashes In 53 Years–AIB

The commissioner and chief executive of the Accident Investigation Bureau Nigeria (AIB), Akin Olateru, said Nigeria has lost 2,038 lives to aviation accidents in the last 53 years.

This is from the year 1969 to 2022, when a total of 2,038 (1,996 on board passengers and 42 on ground) lives were lost to air crashes.

He stated this while speaking at the 2022 international day for commemorating air crash victims and their families on Sunday in Abuja.

Recall that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), in cooperation with the Air Crash Victims’ Families’ Federation International (ACVFFI), has established February 20 as the international day commemorating air crash victims and their families.

Olateru offered his condolences to the families of aircrash victims and assured them that the Aviation industry regulators were determined to ensure such accident don’t happen again.

He further said that, “the ICAO policies and guidelines ensure that the needs of the victims and their families are addressed in a timely manner. Just as with any other emergency plan, it is essential to have a readiness plan to support the involved victims and their families.

“Victims, survivors and their families should be treated with respect, dignity and empathy.

“It is vital that the government and airline operator render assistance and support to the victims and their families, and not just at the time of the accident or serious incident but afterwards too.”

While listing the role of government in assisting crash victims, the commissioner said: “the federal government of Nigeria, through the ministry of aviation and the bureau is following the international standards and procedures to ensure that everything is put in place to provide the requisite support for victims of air incidents and their families.

“Under the 2013 National Civil Aviation Policy, the bureau is charged with the responsibility of rendering family assistance to victims and their families at times of aircraft accidents.

This is a wraparound service to be provided at the time of an incident and during investigation.

It is, however, important to note that aircraft accident investigation is separate from the provision of Family Assistance, and until recently, the enabling legislation did not exist to enable the bureau carry out this mandate.

“Nonetheless, the Bureau has provided family assistance in the recovery of personal effects of victims, identification of bodies, provision of information on accident Investigations, and pathological services, amongst others.”

While speaking, the aviation minister, Hadi Sirika, noted that February 20 of every year is set aside to remember victims of airplane crashes and commiserate with the families as nothing can be done to bring back the lost lives.

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