Families and friends today gathered in Itoikin near the Ejirin river along the Ikorodu Epe Expressway to lay wreaths at the crash site of the Ill-fated ADC crash on November 7, 1996 in remembrance of the 144 persons who died in the crash.
It was a quiet and solemn moment as family members and friends arrived the final resting place of their loved ones 25 years ago to pray for the eternal rest for the dead and lay wreaths at the cenotaph by the Itoikin bridge.
The Chairman of Aviation Development Company, ADC, Captain Augustine Okon in a brief remarks said, the crash was as a result of an error by the Air Traffic Control, ATC, as revealed by the investigation carried out by the then Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau, AIPB.
“It was an air traffic control error, two aircraft was by mistake vectored on a head on collision with each other, what we would have observed today would have been the tragedy of losing two aircraft”.
He said, for over 25 years, families of the victims have cried and their lives had never been the same again, adding that, while their memory cannot be forgotten, families and friends must learn to move on.
“For families who lost loved ones, it has been very, very difficult for all of us, I don’t want to cry today again, I beg you all please, let’s us move on but lets remember each other in our prayers may the Good Lord bless all those who have list their lives around thus place, may He bless all the families and friends”.
The brother of the captain of the Ill-fated aircraft, Mr. Dafe-Urhobo Sama said, they missed their brother and father and appealed to other families to continue to pray for another to endure the irreparable loss.
“God bless your courage, bless the widows and widowers, lets keep the spirit together, lets pray for ourselves as families, we are one family, 086 is a very ugly incident but this is a beautiful family am seeing”.
At the site names of the victims were read while the officiating priest urged families and friends of the dead to have solace in the fact that, their loved ones were in a better place.
The Flight t086 was en route to Lagos airport at flight level (FL) 240 (approximately 24,000 ft (7,300 m) altitude) with 144 souls onboard when the crash occurred. The accident involving a Boeing 727 aircraft had happened on 7 November, 1996 when the pilot lost control after taking evasive action to avoid a mid-air collision.
Investigation by then Accident and Incident Prevention Bureau (AIPB) had revealed that the plane crash occurred due to Air Traffic Controller error.
The Lagos Air Traffic Controller had cleared the crew of Flight 086 to descend, but erroneously thought that he had earlier cleared Flight 086 to descend to 10,000 ft (3,000 m) and that it was below the Triax aircraft.
The descent from FL240 caused Flight 086 to conflict with the Triax flight at FL160.