500 Nigerians escape death as plane crash-lands

It was a great escape yesterday as no fewer than 500 Nigerians returning from the holy land in Mecca, Saudi Arabia would have perished at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) when their aircraft developed technical fault and crash-landed.

The pilgrims were on board a Max Air-owned Boeing 747 aircraft with registration No 5N-DBM, which was on its way to Yola but was forced to make an emergency landing at MAKIA at about 3 a.m. yesterday.

According to an eyewitness account, the pilot was able to crash-land the plane after it lost its four tyres due to technical fault.

When The Guardian visited the airport, it was observed that the passengers who could not believe their luck offered endless prayers thanking God for sparing their lives.

An official of Max Air, Alhaji Dahiru Ibrahim, confirmed the incident but stressed that it should not be misconstrued that the aircraft made an emergency landing.

“The aircraft lost four of its rear tyres, while landing. It was not an emergency landing as being speculated. The pilot decided to land at the Kano Airport because planes cannot land at night at the Yola Airport,” he said.

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