Smoke from the rear cargo section filled the cabin via the air-conditioning system on a Aero Contractors (Nigeria) domestic flight between Port Harcourt and Lagos a few days ago, passenger Oriakwu Okwesilieze (@puffypearl) tweeted his story and added a movie too.
20 minutes after take-off dense smoke filled the aircraft, flight NG316 carrying 52 passengers and 1 infant.
“Some passengers started shouting, other passengers were chanting prayers”
For 30 minutes Oriakwu was praying but the smoke got denser, the captain advised the passengers to use a wet towel.
Finally the flight made an emergency landing at Lagos airport, where rescue services awaited the aircraft.
Every One on this aero contractor flight could have died today but for God. I’m grateful. Nigerian airports need new directors/ flights pic.twitter.com/KB65yWRJYw
— ORIAKU (OKWESILIEZE) (@puffypearl) April 18, 2017
In an official statement the airline management led by Capt. Ado Sanusi, chief executive officer stated that it has ordered for full-scale investigation into the incident, adding that “preliminary reports has it that at 1645 GMT about 75NM to Lagos at 24,00ft, the cabin crew observed that the cabin was misty. This was reported to the Captain, who briefed the passengers accordingly assuring them of a safe landing in Lagos in a couple of minutes”.
It further stated “Expectedly as announced by the pilot, normal descent was initiated into Lagos. While descending however, a passenger went into the lavatory, after which the lavatory smoke detector alarm came on. The cabin crew again reported this incident to the Captain and by this time the smoke was getting denser in the cabin”.
“Ready and armed with “Aft Cargo Smoke” indication in the flight deck, the crew carried out the smoke dispersal procedures and contacted air traffic control at 1655GMT, requesting for emergency support services and proceeded to Lagos, which is the airport with the full complement of emergency support. At this stage again, the cabin crew reassured the passengers and handed out wet towels to them as a precautionary measure for such incidents”, the airline informed.
According to Aero, the Captain also announced to the passengers to be calm as the smoke in question did not present any irritation or discomfort, emphasizing that the aircraft landed at 1703 GMT without any incident.
“Although the company engineers had carried out the routine systems checks, and reported all normal, Capt. Sanusi who has also reported the incident to the appropriate authorities in the country said another round of thorough investigation was ongoing”, the statement added.
Aero Contractors Company of Nigeria Limited, known as Aero Contractors or simply Aero, is a state-controlled Nigerian aviation company based at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria. It operates helicopter services and fixed wing domestic and international scheduled passenger services, air charter and third party aircraft operations, largely in support of Nigeria’s extensive oil and gas industry. (Wikipedia Aero Contractors Nigeria)